Target: Dennis Kelly, Chair of Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Goal: End the use of concrete floors in zoo enclosures.
Every day, countless zoo animals are subjected to pain and a lack of stimulation in unnatural enclosures with concrete floors. In these barren conditions, captive animals will often pace restlessly. This constant repetition of walking on a hard surface takes its toll on an animal’s health and well-being. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums states that the health and well-being of its animals are important and yet they allow for concrete floors to be the standard in zoos. If conservation and well-being are pillars of a zoo’s mission, then the Association of Zoos and Aquariums should be setting the standard by providing animals with an environment conducive to conservation and health.
Wild animals have not evolved to spend their lives on concrete. Their paws and hooves are adapted to their natural habitats, like the African savanna or the snowy mountains. Their bodies aren’t used to the strain of walking on a flat, hard surface all day. If the pain becomes too much, animals may resort to spending their days lying on the floor to avoid too much strain.
A lack of mental stimulation is another reason to remove concrete floors. Zoos often stress the supposed importance of “enrichment” in animals’ enclosures while failing to acknowledge how woefully unstimulating concrete floors are. A concrete floor provides nothing to play with or examine, leading to extreme boredom, frustration, and psychological stress.
By signing this petition you will be urging the Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Dennis Kelly, to remove concrete floors from zoo exhibits and make the lives of wild animals in captivity more bearable.
Dear Dennis Kelly,
The constant use of concrete floors in zoos is taking a toll on animals’ well-being on a day-to-day basis. Wild animals that have adapted to varying natural terrains are forced to walk back and forth on a flat and hard surface, placing a strain on muscles that aren’t meant to support that much pressure.
The animals also lack any natural mental stimulation that they would otherwise have in an enclosure constructed to resemble their natural habitat. Conservation cannot continue to flourish if these animals aren’t given a better habitat where they can display behaviors as they would in the wild.
Concrete floors don’t have to be the standard in zoos. There are many natural and synthetic materials that would benefit the animals and would still be cost-effective. I am urging you to improve the livelihoods of animals in zoos by providing them with something other than a concrete floor to spend the rest of their days on. Please take action to find a better material that all zoos can utilize to truly show that the animals’ well-being is a top priority.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Goldom