We class ‘wild animals’ as those that are not normally domesticated. The list is enormous, ranging from badgers to nesting birds, pet snakes and zoo elephants!

Our concern for wild animals is based on how they are treated and whether humans cause unnecessary suffering - rather than how many of a species there are.
This means our focus is on animal welfare rather than conservation of endangered species, although the two can overlap.

How are we helping wildlife?

Trying to improve the welfare of such a huge number of animals and species is a challenge! We use scientific research and practical evidence to support our views and encourage change in many different ways.

In 2015, 16,302 wild animals were admitted to our wildlife centres.

Our wildlife work includes:

  • Wild animals kept as pets.
  • Wild animals used in performance.
  • Human-wildlife conflict, helping people to live in harmony with wildlife.
  • Cruelty to free-living wildlife (illegal trapping, poisoning, shooting).
  • Management and control, or culling, of wildlife.
  • Non-native species and their welfare impacts on native animals.
  • Rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife
  • Research into post-release survival.
  • Wildlife trade.

How we work:

  • Raise awareness of wild animal welfare issues.
  • Provide wildlife information and advice.
  • Work with, and try to influence, those who make policy decisions about wild animal welfare.
  • Rescue and rehabilitate orphaned/injured wild animals at our wildlife centres and conduct research to improve our level of care.
  • Develop detailed protocols for wildlife centres to ensure the best rehabilitation practices for all species cared for.
  • Train inspectors in wildlife-related aspects of work, including identification, legislation and handling.
  • Support research into relevant welfare issues like deer vehicle collisions.
  • Work internationally with both governments and non-governmental organisations, such as providing training overseas on the rehabilitation of oiled birds.

To learn more about our wildlife work, browse links on the right and left of this page. For information about specific projects carried out by our wildlife team, visit the science group pages.