Animal Welfare

The welfare of our animals is the zoo’s top priority! Find out more about how we look after them…

The Five Freedoms outline five important rights of captive animals, and our responsibilities as their keepers. These are:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst by providing ready access to appropriate food and fresh water
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing a suitable environment, such as shelter and resting places
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease by providing appropriate veterinary care, quick diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing a suitable environment, such as sufficient space and company of other animals if needed
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring they live in conditions which avoid mental suffering

The five freedoms apply to all captive animals, including pets and zoo animals alike. Our keeping staff work hard every day to ensure these requirements are met, and that all our animals stay happy and healthy!

The health of our animals is of the upmost importance to us at Five Sisters Zoo. We work with various veterinary practices and expert veterinarians to ensure that all our animals receive quick diagnosis and treatment should they need it.

  One of our tenrecs getting a check-up!

We have monthly vet visit days, during which any animals with health problems are seen by our vet. In emergencies, our vets are on call to come out or give advice whenever we need them.

We have a vet room on site, with an operating theatre to perform minor surgeries. This means that our animals can be seen quickly and easily. They don’t have to travel long distances to other veterinary practices, minimising the amount of time they have to be out of their enclosures, and our keeping staff will always be close by to help out. All in all, this hugely reduces the stress that undergoing surgery can cause.


Above you can see pictures of one of our gibbons Mo, who underwent surgery for an injured wrist in May 2018. She is now back to full strength and can be seen swinging around her enclosure.

Enrichment makes an animal’s environment more interesting and exciting! They are more mentally stimulated, which stops them from getting bored, and it can also help them to display more natural behaviours.

Providing enrichment is a large part of our keepers day. Examples of enrichment include kongs filled with food, puzzle feeders, unusual sounds and smells and various toys, such as swings, running wheels, and footballs.


The hot summer weather gives us even more opportunities to treat the animals – they enjoy an ice lolly just as much as we do!

      © James Glossop

A lot animals also like the chance for quick shower to cool off!

      © James Glossop

We like to celebrate holidays here at the zoo, and Halloween is one of our favourites!


When birthdays roll around each year, we’re the first to bring out the cake and presents! We’ve been celebrating Stumpy’s birthday since he first arrived. He recently celebrated his 32nd birthday, making him one of the oldest lemurs in the UK!


Just by visiting the zoo you are helping us to look after the animals! The cost of your ticket goes towards animal upkeep and zoo maintenance costs. We also appreciate any donations you can give, as we do not receive any external funding.

If you would like to to give a more personal gift, you can also donate something via our amazon wishlist. We have a list of toys and enrichment items the animals would love to play with, as well as tools such as scales and drills. You might see your gift being used the next time you come visit! Check out our amazon wishlist here!


During your visit, please help us to look after our animals by keeping to our zoo code.

  • Do NOT feed the animals anything (this includes your own food you have brought with you from home, bought at the cafe, and even items you have found already in their enclosure). All of our animals are on specially formulated diets to match their needs, and feeding them anything else could make them very sick. Even if there is food already in their enclosure do NOT pick it up to feed them, as it might not be food and all of our animals may bite.
  • Do NOT put your fingers through the bars or attempt to pet any of the animals (except in our designated animal handling areas), as they may bite, and it can result in unwanted stereotypic behaviours (repetitive behaviours that are a sign of distress in captive animals).
  • Do NOT tease the animals, make faces, or knock on the windows as this can cause our animals significant stress.
  • Do NOT drop litter as it may end up in an enclosure and harm our animals.
  • Do NOT smoke inside the zoo. If you wish to smoke please do so in the designated area in the car park.

If you see anyone doing any of these things please inform a member of staff. Anyone found not following these rules may be asked to leave the zoo!

We’re Opening!!

We will be opening on Monday the 29th June. You will only be able to visit the zoo if you have pre-purchased tickets online.

We will be sharing this link on Monday the 22nd June. thank you for all your support through this extremely difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back to the zoo next week.

You can now book the pre-paid tickets online at this link ->