23rd March 2021

Freedom for Animals recently went undercover at a UK zoo where California sea lions were made to perform to the public. The sea lions were trained to perform highly unnatural behaviours such as 'clapping' and mimicking the movements of seals and sharks.

Watch the shocking video below...

Sea lion displays were once a typical example of the cruelty of animal circuses, but with the recent bans on wild animals in circuses coming into force, such shows have thankfully been consigned to history. However, despite wild animal performances being banned from circuses, shockingly they are still permitted if they take place within a zoo. But what's the difference?

Take Action for Sea Lions

California sea lions have a healthy population in the wild and are classified as 'least concern' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. In fact, the wild population is actually increasing. So what then are the zoos' justifications for keeping these animals captive and training them to perform?

As their name would suggest, California sea lions are native to western America, from Alaska down to Mexico. They are social animals and in the wild form huge colonies and gather along the rocky coastlines of the North Pacific Ocean. This is a far cry from a small enclosure in the UK, with only a few other individuals for company.

Freedom for Animals' Director Sam Threadgill commented:

There can be no justification for keeping sea lions captive in zoos, not to mention training them to perform tricks for the public. These wonderful animals should be living freely on the west coast of America, not confined to enclosures in the UK, incomparable in size to their natural home ranges.

Freedom for Animals has identified twelve zoos in the UK that hold sea lions captive and advertise performances. These are Blackpool Zoo, Dudley Zoo, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Belfast Zoo, Chessington Zoo, Banham Zoo, Woburn Safari Park, Knowsley Safari Park, Flamingo Land, Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, Pleasurewood Hills and Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Take Action for Sea Lions!

- Contact your nearest zoo and ask them why they hold sea lions captive and train them to perform.

- Spread the word on social media.

- Tell Boris Johnson: No More Zoo Funding!

- Donate to to our appeal to stop these shows!