Cumbrian Schools Urged to Avoid Zoo Field Trips This Summer

For Immediate Release:
3 May 2018

Olivia Jordan +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

There’s Nothing Educational About Visiting Animal Prisons, Says Group

Cumbria –As the summer term gets under way and many primary schools in Cumbria plan field trips, PETA sent letters this week asking them not to organise trips to South Lakes Safari Zoo – or any other zoo.

In the letter, PETA notes that because zoos can’t come close to providing animals with the space and stimulation they enjoy in nature, their behaviour is neurotic and unnatural, so any lessons that students take away from such excursions are fundamentally flawed. Most zoos are also unable to meet all the animals’ nutritional, environmental, and social needs, and some facilities fail to fulfil even the most basic duty of care: at South Lakes Safari Zoo, nearly 500 animals died in just four years, many as a result of inadequate food, heating, or veterinary care.

“Zoos hold wild animals captive, separate them from their families, and deny them the opportunity to express natural behaviour and make choices in their lives,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “We wouldn’t go to a prison to learn about typical human society, so it makes little sense to try to learn about animals by observing them in captivity.”In the letter, PETA shares the findings of a study of children between the ages of 7 and 15 who visited London Zoo: the majority – including those who took an educator-guided tour of the zoo –gained no positive educational outcomes. In many cases, the trip even had a negative impact on their understanding of animals and their habitats.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way” – notes that wildlife documentaries are widely available and are more educational and cost-effective than zoo field trips. IMAX cinemas also show entertaining animal documentaries such as Born to Be Wild, To the Arctic, and Wild Safari on the big screen.

PETA’s letter to Cumbrian schools is available upon request. For more information, please visit