Elephant sanctuary, Thailand

Is it a genuine wildlife sanctuary?

Get your checklist now

If you’re not able to see wild animals in the wild, the next best place is a genuine wildlife sanctuary. But how do you know which venues to visit?

Download your genuine sanctuary checklist

Download your checklist to make sure you’re visiting venues that have their animals’ best interests at heart.

Not all ‘sanctuaries’ are good. 

We’ve put together this checklist to help you decide whether the venues you’re planning to visit really have their animals’ best interests at heart – or if they’re just out to make money from well-meaning tourists.

Unfortunately, some venues label themselves ‘sanctuaries’ when they in fact offer some of the cruellest and most distressing activities, and keep their animals in the poorest conditions.

Download your checklist to make sure you’re visiting venues that have their animals’ best interests at heart.


Genuine wildlife sanctuary checklist

Many travellers are rejecting cruel wildlife activities and looking for animal-friendly ways to see wild animals when they’re on holiday.

The most positive way to see wild animals is in the wild, where they belong. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Your next best option is to visit a genuine wildlife sanctuary.

But with so many tourist venues claiming to be ‘sanctuaries’, how do you sort the genuine ones from those who are exploiting your desire to do the right thing by animals?

Libearty bear sanctuary

Image credit: World Animal Protection / Tom Svensson

Wildlife. Not entertainers

With the help of our supporters, World Animal Protection works to end the unnecessary suffering of animals in the cruel wildlife entertainment industry. We want a world where wild animals live in the wild where they belong.

Up to one quarter of the trillion-dollar tourism industry is driven by demand for wildlife tourism. Most people don’t know about the unacceptable abuse of wild animals used in most wildlife activities including elephant rides, swimming with captive dolphins, and hugging and posing for photos with lions, tigers and sloths.

We are encouraging and working with the travel industry, tourists and entertainment venues to end the cruelty of wild animal entertainment. Fortunately, many tour operators see a great opportunity in changing their wildlife tourism practices. Following our approaches over the past four years, nearly 200 companies across the world have agreed to stop selling elephant rides and shows.

Bear cubs playing at Zarnesti sanctuary, Romania
Orangutan selfies in Bali

Wildlife tourism

If a venue that houses wildlife allows you to ride, hug, cuddle or take a selfie with a wild animal, cruelty is surely involved.

Elephant riding with a bullhook at Bali Zoo

Donate to protect elephants

You can help give elephants the chance to live out their lives in a calm, peaceful environment.

Happy Elephant Valley venue

Elephant facts

Did you know that elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild, however their lifespan in captivity is generally shorter?

Wild dolphins in New Zealand

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