Upholding Animals First Culture

OUR COMMITMENTS TO THE FIVE OPPORTUNITIES TO THRIVE

In order to ensure the Opportunity For A Well-Balanced Diet, we provide quality, hygienic food and water of the highest standards provide the full and necessary dietary and nutritional requirements for every animal in our care with special attention to individual needs and circumstances present food and water in ways that satisfy both behavioral and health needs incorporate the science of nutrition into the development of all zoo diets under the supervision of a nutritionist and/or veterinarian maintain accurate records on the diets provided and the weight of individual animals provide staff with on-the-job training on safe, hygienic food storage, handling and preparation share the knowledge we gained about zoo and aquatic animal nutrition continually monitor our animals to assure that food is fed in the manner prescribed

In order to ensure the Opportunity To Self-Maintain, we provide protection from the elements, intruders, pests, predators, physical injury and disease provide comfortable resting places and thermal comfort employ secure, effective and well-maintained barriers minimize exposure to fear, distress and aggression provide seek sanctuary from enclosure-mates and visitors design habitats, including water quality, that can be readily maintained at appropriate hygiene standards as required present our animals with dignity in a setting that provides effective learning experiences for visitors provide clear and simple, anonymous and named methods to identify and report shortcomings/concerns in our animal care programs

In order to ensure the Opportunity For Optimal Health, we aim to deliver a comprehensive veterinary care program with the resources and capacity for high quality medicine, surgery, diagnostics and pathology maintain our role as a global leader in zoo and wildlife health care provide reward-based conditioning to facilitate delivery of health care, guest encounters and presentations ensure that systems and knowledge on the status, health and wellbeing of all our animals are maintained and continually improved regularly monitor each individual, as appropriate for that species provide prompt veterinary response to any injured or ill animal in our care provide preventative health care programs, including effective quarantine for all incoming animals and minimizing disease incursion from staff, visitors and free-ranging animals ensure that wildlife responses and rehabilitation practices are ethically sound, ecologically responsible, and in accordance with state and federal regulatory agreements ensure staff awareness and understanding of SEA's policies, procedures and reporting processes, and training relating to animal health maintain the highest professional standards of our zoological staff ensure that humane euthanasia can be implemented where appropriate

In order to ensure the Opportunity To Express Species-Specific Behavior, we provide housing that is of generous size to move, perform species appropriate behaviors and exercise freely provide tailored wellness evaluations to individual animals and populations that recognize the species' evolutionary biology provide a life experience for each animal that approximates the quality of a life experienced by an equivalent member of that species living in the wild, including challenges where appropriate provide alternatives for behaviors that would be performed in the wild provide species-appropriate enrichment incorporate providing enrichment in our zoological team members' job description provide environments and group structure and size that promote species appropriate social skills and supports the ability of an animal to breed or be integrated with its own kind provide species-appropriate social opportunities, including opportunities for learning and maintenance of behaviors critical for social interactions and breeding provide social opportunities with compatible individuals and species for sole representatives of a given species

In order to ensure the Opportunities For Choice And Control, we design new habitat features that provides choice and opportunities provide enrichment items that are safe to use and do not compromise the animals' nutrition undertake appropriate research, training and planning, and provide resources to support safe and effective environmental enrichment programs conduct enrichment that stimulates mental and physical activity, promotes group and play behaviors, and maintains behavioral diversity regularly review and change the enrichment programs appropriate for the species, to maximize stimulation, variation, interest and learning regularly share best behavioral, enrichment and choice and control practices within enrichment committees with parks regularly share best behavioral, enrichment and choice and control practices between parks

If you would like to learn more about the topic of zoo and aquarium animal welfare, we recommend the following resources: AZA Animal Welfare Committee www.aza.org/animal_welfare_committee San Diego Zoo Global Academy animal welfare training module sdzglobalacademy.org Proceeding of the Third International Symposium on Zoo Animal Welfare www.czs.org/custom.czs/files/f1/f1207a54-fb00-4b13-899d-7ac19d3f7606.pdf USDA Animal Welfare Act www.nal.usda.gov/awic/animal-welfare-act Farm Animal Welfare Council webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121010012427

Other references: Broom, D. M. (2011). A history of animal welfare science. Acta Biotheoretica, 59(2), 121-37. Retrieved from: doi:http://dx.doi.org.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/10.1007/s10441-011-9123-3 Greg Vicino, Lance Miller. From Prevention of Cruelty to Optimizing Welfare: Opportunities to Thrive. 34th International Ethological Conference. Cairns, Queensland. August 9-14, 2015.

Back to Top