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Bristol Zoo under fire

PETA calls for Bristol Zoo to cancel its controversial ‘Big Night Out’ party
Bristol Zoo under fire

Bristol Zoo Gardens is set to bring back its adults-only ‘Big Night Out’ event, in which alcohol-fuelled partygoers can create a rowdy, stressful environment for the animals on display.

In response, PETA has fired off an urgent letter calling on the zoo to cancel the traumatising event scheduled for this Friday, 29 July.

Safety risks

As the group notes in a letter to Dr Bryan Carroll, the CEO of Bristol Zoo, at similar events at the London Zoo one person reportedly tried to pour beer on a tiger, another allegedly attempted to undress and enter an enclosure that held penguins and yet another fell and ‘accidentally’ punched a bird, among other incidents.

According to Bristol Zoo’s website, event attendees will be permitted to consume alcohol during a ‘fun-packed night full of entertainment’. In addition to posing a safety risk, allowing visitors into the zoo outside normal business hours disrupts animals’ sleep schedules – especially when visitors behave in an unruly manner.

‘Plying people with alcohol during a late-night event might make a good fundraiser for Bristol Zoo, but it doesn’t put the animals’ needs first. PETA is calling on Bristol Zoo to do what’s best for the animals – and that means cancelling the stressful ‘Big Night Out’ event.’

KIRSTY HENDERSON
PETA Senior Campaign Coordinator

Other dangerous occurrences reported at similar zoo events include one incident in which a man got ‘touchy-feely’ with some baby penguins and another in which a man asked a staff member, ‘Which penguin can I fight?’

‘Bristol Zoo Gardens is responsible for the safety and well-being of the animals in its care. Allowing a late-night event in which visitors consume alcohol and party with loud music does not demonstrate adequate consideration for animal welfare.

‘The intelligent and sensitive animals will likely feel terrified, threatened, and alarmed when subjected to chaotic crowds and the noises of uninhibited partygoers out on a Friday night.

KIRSTY HENDERSON
From PETA’s letter to Bristol Zoo

Click here to visit PETA’s online action Centre.

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