Two Ontario Zoos Ranked as Some of the Cruelest in the World


Do you have fond memories of visiting zoos? You may want to rethink that if you visited one of the zoos mentions in a recent report.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently released a report on some of the world’s worst zoos, and two Ontario zoos were on the list.

Around 1,200 zoos were surveyed in the report, and nearly 75 per cent of them had some form of cruelty to the animals they homed. Many of these activities can be compared to a carnival or circus attractions, such as elephant rides.

These ‘performances’ stress the animals, as many want to be left alone to do what they want.

So which Ontario zoos were sadly on the list?

Jungle Cat World in Orono was on the list due to using performances of big cats like tigers. The report states that tigers are mainly solitary creatures, but are often put on leashes during these daily performances. They are also forced to be awake during the day to perform, which is cruel due to the fact tigers tend to be nocturnal. If that’s not enough to make you mad, the report also states cubs are separated from their mothers to participate in attractions.

Many Bramptonians might also be familiar with African Lion Safari in Cambridge, which was listed in the report for its treatment of elephants. Elephants are always forced to interact with guests, perform in costume and to carry people around the park.

Elephants are often trained in abusive manners, both physically and psychologically. This can affect the elephant’s behaviour and leave psychological damage to the animals.

The report claims many customers don’t know that the practices of these types of zoos are cruel.

The report states that more zoos should focus on providing animals with a natural and safe environment and focus on education or performances. Some zoos across the world already do this, which not only is suitable for the guests but more importantly, the animals themselves.

Currently, no organization regulates zoos across the world. Only time will tell if these arguably medieval practices will be phased out of the majority of zoos.

What do you think of these zoo practices?

You can read the full report here.

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