2nd April 2024

This year’s Zoo Awareness Weekend was a huge success. So many of our wonderful supporters and animal rights groups hit the streets and held demonstrations across the UK to stand up for animals!

Thanks to these important actions, the public was faced with the reality of zoos and aquariums, and their ‘con-servation’ lies were exposed! They also shone a light on the suffering of the individuals held captive within the cages and the tanks, and how each life is so cruelly exploited within this terrible industry.

Zoo Awareness Weekend always falls on Easter Weekend, as it is typically the busiest date of the year for zoos and aquariums. So what better time to take action and spread the word of the suffering that animals held captive in these prisons go through? And this year - our supporters did not disappoint! 

Freedom for Animals want to take this opportunity to thank every single one of our supporters who have joined us in the fight for animal freedom, this Zoo Awareness Weekend and beyond. We could not do anything without your support!

Here are just some of the amazing demonstrations that were held this year: 

London Zoo 

On Saturday 30th March, dedicated activists gathered outside London Zoo to hold an outreach event and protest for Zoo Awareness Weekend, to stand up for animals and show the paying public what really happens behind the bars. 

Photo Credit: Josephine Wilson

During the event, activists handed out hundreds of leaflets and interacted with the public, with many positive conversations taking place. Thanks to these activists sharing the truth, the public now knows of the devastating impact zoos have on innocent animals, which will hopefully inspire them to visit more compassionate animal-free tourist destinations in the future.

Every year during Zoo Awareness Weekend, this dedicated group takes action for animals and shares the truth about zoos. We are so grateful to all these inspiring individuals, for putting so much time and effort into exposing the truth. Thank you!

London Sea Life Centre

The same committed group of activists who took action on Saturday outside London Zoo did not stop there! They also held an impactful demonstration outside London Sea Life Centre the very next day on Easter Sunday! 

Photo Credit: Josephine Wilson

Protests have been held by activists outside this aquarium for many years, but recently the pressure has been ramped up at this particular aquarium, with monthly events taking place in support of our new campaign to 'Free the Fifteen' gentoo penguins who are cruelly held captive in a basement enclosure there. You can sign the petition and find out more information on this important campaign here!

We want to thank every dedicated and inspiring activist who continues to give up so much of their time to stand up for not just the penguins, but all animals held captive in Sea Life London. The events are hugely impactful in exposing the reality of the suffering individuals endure in the tiny tanks they’re trapped in. Thanks to their continued presence outside this aquarium, the animals' plight is not forgotten. 

Brighton SeaLife - CLOSE SEALIFE

On Saturday 30th April, a number of activists attended a protest organised by the animal rights group CLOSE SEALIFE, outside Sea Life Brighton.

CLOSE SEALIFE regularly holds demonstrations outside of the Brighton aquarium to raise awareness on the suffering animals endure within this watery prison - including Lulu, a green sea turtle who has been cruelly incarcerated for over 80 years. These events never fail to bring valuable awareness to her devastating situation, and that of the other animals held captive there alongside her. CLOSE SEALIFE started a petition to demand her freedom, which can be viewed HERE. 



This inspiring group holds regular outreach events outside the aquarium, and we are so appreciative of their continued dedication, support and drive in the fight for animal freedom. Thank you!

Belfast City Centre

On Saturday 30th March, activists in Belfast held an amazing outreach stall in the city centre, to celebrate Zoo Awareness Weekend and show the public the reality of zoos and how animals are cruelly treated within them.
The group managed to give out dozens of leaflets to intrigued passers by, and even engaged people by creating new posters and a quiz which focussed on zoos and the many misconceptions people have of them. What a brilliant and creative way to educate the public! 
Photo Credit: Speaking Up for the Animals 
Thank you to all the activists in Belfast who took action on this important weekend, and stood up for animals by sharing the truth of how they suffer. Using such creative ways to engage with the public, and inspire change, is inspirational, and we are so appreciate for all the effort that went into this impactful event. Together, we will win this fight for freedom!

Newcastle - North East Animal Rights (NEAR)

On Saturday 30th April, NEAR participated in Zoo Awareness Weekend again this year, by holding an inspiring information and outreach stall in Newcastle City Centre to raise public awareness.

Photo Credit: North East Animal Rights (NEAR)

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Newcastle, and a lot of people were eager to talk to NEAR and find out more information from the stall. Laura Walton, Campaigns Manager at Freedom for Animals, also joined the event to support these dedicated activists. 

A big focus of the event was to share the truth about Cumbria Safari Zoo, and gain signatures for our live petition calling on its closure. This was a huge success, with many members of the public shocked at the reality for animals held captive at this notorious zoo, and wanting to sign on to the campaign to see it close down once and for all.

NEAR holds a stall every year for Freedom for Animals, and we are so grateful for their continued support. They are also very active in supporting our work throughout the year, including our festive events campaign. Their total dedication to raising public awareness about so many important issues is incredibly inspiring and impactful. Thank you!

Ulverston, Cumbria - Close Down South Lakes Zoo

Brilliant animal activists held a demonstration on Saturday 30th March in Ulverston in Cumbria, which is the local town to the notorious Cumbria Safari Zoo, also known as South Lakes Zoo. This outreach event was set on highlighting the failing conditions animals are forced to endure at the zoo, and to gain more signatures on the important petition to close it down!

The event was a huge success, and the group had many positive conversations with the public - many of whom lived locally and dislike the zoo due to the continuing animal welfare issues.

Photo Credit: Close Down South Lakes Zoo

The Close Down South Lakes Zoo group is dedicated to seeing the demise of this terrible zoo, and will continue to campaign for its closure in the local area. Please join an event in the future if you can.  

Alongside local activists, we have campaigned against this notorious zoo for many years, after repeated investigations uncovered serious cases of neglect and suffering. We even recently deployed an undercover investigator to enter the zoo as a volunteer to gain crucial evidence on how animals are treated there. The news made it into the press, and we will not stop sharing the truth of what we uncovered there until the council finally takes appropriate action and closes down this neglectful zoo. You can watch the videos here! 

We also have a live petition to call on the council to revoke the zoo’s license and enforce its closure HERE!

A big shoutout to all the activists in this group who continue to stand up for the animals imprisoned at Cumbria Safari Zoo, to shed light on the truth of what really happens to animals there. Without your dedication, the animals' stories would not be shared, so your support is invaluable and so appreciated. Thank you! 

Knowsley Safari Park - Merseyside Animal Rights (MAR) 

In conjunction with Freedom For Animals' Zoo Awareness weekend activists in MAR held a peaceful protest outside Knowsley Safari Park on Monday 1st April with leaflets and information posters, to highlight the plight of all animals held in captivity and their insistence on making animals perform for entertainment in their bird of prey and sea lion displays. 

Photo Credit: Merseyside Animal Rights (MAR)

We are so grateful to MAR for their continued support on Zoo Awareness Weekend and throughout the year. Their help is so valued, and their drive to help animals inspiring. Thank you!

Zoos in the UK hold tens of thousands of animals captive. Many are suffering in silence, their misery unseen despite the thousands of people who peer in at them everyday. Zoos which exploit animals can never be ethical. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who got involved in this year’s Zoo Awareness Weekend! Whether you attended a demo, shared our videos, signed our petitions, or commented on our posts - you have collectively helped to make 2024’s event a huge success for animals!

For any of our supporters who are thinking of getting involved in future demonstrations and outreach days, please let us know so that we can help link you up with a local group in your area, or you can start your own!

And, of course, if you can’t get out and about there are many other ways you can help animals:

Keep an eye on our Latest Campaigns page for future events and actions

You can donate to help fuel to the fight for an end to the captivity of animals

Become a Freedom Champion and set up a monthly gift

Hold future demos and protests by ordering free campaign materials