Voices of Youth: Do zoo animals have enough space?

Since my childhood, the zoo has always been my go-to for outings. But in recent years, I noticed something has begun to steal the joy from my visits there.

I do acknowledge and affirm the work that the Singapore Zoo puts in, and its focus on educating the public on wildlife conservation as well as ensuring the continuity of endangered species.

I also understand that the zookeepers there are passionate about their work and do consider the welfare of the animals.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore's animal welfare and ethics policy states: "All exhibits must be of such size and volume as to allow the animal to express its natural behaviour."

But some of the animal enclosures seem to be relatively small compared with the size of their occupants. Some examples are the white tiger and pygmy hippo enclosures, in which the animals seem to be pacing repeatedly.

Many of the enclosures also seem to provide enough space for only limited movement, like the cassowary enclosure.

I do understand that the animals may have separate facilities that they can retreat to, but the separate facilities also do not seem to be the most spacious, and the animals would be spending most of their activity time in the enclosures.

Is there anything we can do better in terms of animal welfare?

Nico Le Si Min, 16

Secondary 4 student