Retire Aging Zoo Animals to Sanctuaries

Target: Dennis W Kelly, Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Goal: Retire aging zoo animals to a sanctuary.

Most zoo animals spend their lives on display from birth till death. Zoo exhibits aren’t the best places for an aging animal to be. Older animals have different health requirements and need a different type of stimulation. Animals in captivity who are entering the last third of their lives should be sent to a sanctuary to live out their remaining days.

Animal sanctuaries are a great place for older animals to retire to. Animals aren’t confined to small cages or constantly on display where they receive little mental stimulation. In sanctuaries, animals are given toys, the freedom to move and the companionship of other animals. An animal sanctuary would give retired zoo animals a relaxing end to their mostly public life. They wouldn’t be on display for humans to watch, nor would they pace back and forth out of boredom.

Wild animals that spend their lives in captivity should be given the last third of their life to be as free as they can. Animals raised in zoos wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild, but placing them in a sanctuary would be a close second to life in the wild. Zoos make a good deal of their profits from the animals that they place on exhibit. As animals age, they may become less of an attraction. Rather than getting rid of these animals in favor of younger ones, zoos should send their elderly animals to wildlife sanctuaries. Older animals often require a lot more medical attention and would live healthier lives in a sanctuary environment. There wouldn’t be stress from too much human exposure or wear and tear on their joints from concrete floors.

Keeping these animals for public display for most of their lives demands some compassion towards the end. Please sign this petition to help aging zoo animals find peace at wildlife sanctuaries.


Dear Dennis W Kelly,

Aging zoo animals should be given a worthy retirement. After spending most of their lives on display, these animals deserve a peaceful place to call their home. Younger animals seem to take precedence at zoos because they tend to bring in more visitors than their aging counterparts. Rather than get rid of these elderly animals, zoos should send them to retirement sanctuaries. In the sanctuaries, the animals could live out their remaining days in a more peaceful and undisturbed environment. This would be a good opportunity for zoos to show visitors that the health and happiness of every animal is a constant priority.

Sanctuaries would also be easier on the health of the animals. They wouldn’t have to walk on concrete floors or pass boredom with repetitive movements. It would be easier to keep the animals mentally stimulated and happy. Visitors wouldn’t be a concern for the caretakers, so the animals would be free to roam where they pleased.

After spending most of their lives in zoo exhibits, these animals deserve a peaceful retirement. Please require that aging zoo animals be sent to sanctuaries.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mohan Raj

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  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    Retire these Older Animals to a Sanctuary NOW!!! It’s the Right Thing to Do!

  2. The poor animals who have spent most or all of their lives in zoos, should for once be given a chance for a decent life. Zoos are bad enough places for any animal, but for older animals they would be especially horrible. Older animals should be sent to good sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives.


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