Saturday, 9 February 2019

Noah's Ark Zoo - Bristol

We visited the park today and I have to say we’ve come away feeling terrible.

The ‘zoo’ has a very depressing feeling and feels like it would be much better as a farm park than a zoo.
Whilst I agree that the enclosures for the elephants, giraffe and other large animals seem well equipped and spacious the same can’t be said for the farm type animals. I have to question the lack of any link to conservation and breeding programs. The animals seem to be there purely to bring in the crowds and the money. 

The conditions for the horses, cows and sheep in the enclosures were awful. Their tiny cell like enclosures were dirty, lacking food and lacked enough bedding. Fairly sure their natural habitat doesn’t include cement floors. When do they get to run around fields? Take any exercise? Have any type of enrichment.?! It seems they’re kept in small enclosures purely for paying customers to pet and take photos next to, this seems to be a return to the historic concept of zoos. Something I thought we had long since moved past. 

Seeing birds of prey tied up and biting at their restraints in frustration was very distressing and our 10 year old daughter was very upset. No fresh food or water for the guinea pigs, the reptile house was in an appalling state of disrepair and the porcupines were sleeping on concrete floors with no bedding in sight.

I have to say we definitely felt that the animals that bring in extra revenue and had stricter formal policies and rules for their care were in the better surroundings - funny that. All the other animals were there strictly for the paying customers. One notice on the horses said something along the lines of having a special blanket to keep the flies off (can’t quite remember the exact wording). I feel better knowing that level of care is occurring!

I have to say the keepers were doing the best job they could  in less than ideal circumstances. They seemed to be dedicated and caring but just not given the means to be at the level that you expect.

I won’t go into the rights and wrong of evolution and creationism but it’s not appropriate to advertise in an educational environment.  Since visiting I have read that Noah's Ark definitely have a religious slant.

It’s not about it being overpriced or what’s on offer to the visitor but very much about the welfare of the animals, conservation in modern society and our responsibility to educate children.

Overall, we will not be returning or recommending.