The are a lot of ethical aspects of keeping animals in human care, one of them is using animals in any sort of show or display and another is “making money on them”. Even if you don’t make any profit of your zoo some people will always think you are a money machine using the animals. Working in a private company that owns a lot of different amusement parks and zoos this is a question I get a lot: Is it right to make money on animals? First of all, there is no right or wrong to this question, and it is also not all black and white. To give a little background, our zoo was owned by the city in over 30 years. In all years we had financial struggles and was dependent on tax money. With private owners, we could invest far greater amounts of money than before. This have led to us doing positive results for the first time.
Rehabilitation of wild animals by private zoo
With more money comes greater responsibilities. We started a foundation that yearly provides conservation projects all around the world with financial support. Having a healthy economy means we could both do larger conservation efforts in the wild, but also greater investment in the animal care in the zoo. For us the animals well being is always number one. Our interest is not in the money, even do we understand that making good results will lead to greater improvements. This is often questioned by people without insight in how zoos or companies work. Maybe we are not good enough to communicate this to our guests? Maybe not even to our staff?
As zoos of today, we all share the same goals, to educate guests and save species from extinction. How it is financed should not determine the quality of the facility. If the animals are well taken care of, a private owned zoo is in no way worse then a foundation or non-profit zoo.
What is you thoughts? Comment below, what do you think is the pros and cons of company or non-profit facility? Is it harder to build trust to the guests being a company?