7th May 2021

Following our investigation into sea lion shows taking place in UK zoos, the Norfolk-based Banham Zoo replied to your questions, demanding answers as to why they continue to hold sea lions in captivity.

Their response was extremely telling.

In a statement, Banham Zoo said:

Our four sea lions (Ineka, Emmet, Filippa and Gala) came to Banham Zoo in 2018 as part of a European programme which coordinates the safe breeding and care of sea lions. They were all born in captivity. While some sea lion species are not currently threatened, it does not mean that they do not face threats and year on year we are building our knowledge of how to look after these animals.

Ineka, Emmet, Filippa and Gala are all California sea lions, a species that is classified as 'least concern' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This means that their population in the wild is not threatened with extinction. In fact, the population of California sea lions in the wild is actually increasing.

Why, therefore, is there a breeding programme of California sea lions in European zoos, if not to just provide zoos with a ready supply of animals to fill their enclosures with? It is highly unlikely that any of these individuals will ever be released into the wild, and live free from captivity.

Banham Zoo are the only zoo to have responded to queries about why they hold sea lions captive and why there are no plans to 'retire' or release them into the wild. If you haven't done so already, please ask your nearest zoo why they continue to keep sea lions and let us know what they say!

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!