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Zoos are a fact of life. They have a responsibility to give every animal humane, professional care. Some strive to meet this standard, keeping animals in displays resembling their natural habitats as closely as possible. Others fail miserably, betraying the animals and the public. How’s your zoo?


The vast majority of animal exhibitors licensed by the federal government do not meet industry accreditation standards. Thousands of animals suffer in roadside zoos and menageries.

Inhumane conditions teach children the wrong message, seeming to condone indifference. Zoos should educate about how animals live in the wild, and help preserve them there.

Zoos owe animals lifetime care. If they cannot provide proper care they should relocate animals to appropriate facilities—never into the exotic pet trade.

Because public opinion and spending are important to zoos’ success, you can be a powerful force in improving the treatment of animals in zoos.


  • A young macaque in a barren cage at Catoctin Zoo in Thurmont, Md. Debbie Leahy/The HSUS

Maryland's Fatal Attractions

A new report details dangerous and inhumane conditions at three roadside zoos in Maryland, where experts uncovered filthy conditions and an extreme lack of basic animal care. Learn more on Wayne's blog

Read the full report

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