We at Twycross Zoo, as a conservation-focused charity, are acutely aware of our responsibilities regarding the welfare of the animals in our care.
Quite a few of our animals are elderly and we have developed excellent geriatric vet care, which keeps many animals fit and well into old age. A sick elderly animal may be put to sleep, however, as would be the case for any individual animal whose physical or mental quality of life became, or would become, severely compromised. We keep full medical records for all of our animals.
Euthanasia is not used as a general tool, but only used on welfare grounds. For population management Twycross Zoo uses careful contraception in some primate species and we take in non-breeding groups of animals, e.g. lemurs and zebras, from other zoos. In fact, we endorse the following statement of the Born Free Foundation, that ‘euthanasia should only be employed to prevent the suffering of an individual animal and all other options have been exhausted’.
Any funds which we generate, including the admission tickets to the Zoo, are used to support our conservation-focused activities. These activities include the rare-species breeding programmes, education for schools and universities, and actively supporting conservation activities in the wild, both in terms of cash and staff expertise.