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Looking after the animals in our care

We’re a ZAA Accredited wildlife park dedicated to the continuous support of positive animal welfare through a science-based approach.

Animal Welfare

What does animal welfare mean to us?

We care deeply for all our creatures big and small. So, when we’re talking about animal welfare, we refer to the different feelings and sensations each animal experiences ranging from positive to negative, given the conditions in which it lives.

We’re accredited by the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA), so you know we’re taking animal welfare seriously. By assessing animal welfare under the Five Domains Model, you can rest assured that we’re achieving a high standard of animal welfare.

The Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) Accreditation

At ZAA there’s no monkeying around when it comes to getting accredited. It involves a thorough process where zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and wildlife parks must provide compelling evidence on their operations, policies and the experiences of their animals. This assessment goes beyond the minimum legal government requirements placed on zoos and aquariums, using the Five Domains model to reach a higher standard and continuously support positive animal welfare.

Five Domains

What are the Five Domains?

The five domains are a science-based tool for assessing and supporting animal welfare. First we assess the first four domains (Nutrition, Environment, Health and Behaviour), which builds us a picture of the fifth domain (Mental Domain) and the overall welfare of the animal.

  1. Nutrition: Ensuring our animals are all well hydrated and have access to a balanced and engaging diet, no hungry animals here.
  1. Environment: Understanding the environmental needs of each animal that influence their natural sensory responses, to provide a habitat where they can feel at home.
  1. Health: Supporting our animals’ physical health, through regular check-ups and veterinary care, to ensure that our animals are in tip top shape and can engage in a range of positive experiences.
  1. Behaviour: Providing opportunities for our animals to engage in natural behaviours, self-generated actions and purposeful activities, like play, courtship and foraging.
  1. Mental: Understanding, based on the assessment of the other four domains, the various emotions and sensations that make up the mental state of each animal.

ANIMAL RECORDS

Moonlit Sanctuary uses the ZIMS animal record keeping system, which is a web based system used by over 1200 zoos and wildlife parks around the world. ZIMS is run by Species 360, the International Species Inventory System. Using ZIMS means we can compare our data about animals with data about the same species wherever it has been kept. It also means other wildlife parks and zoos can have access to our data too. You can find out more about ZIMS on the Global Species 360 website.