29th January 2020

A troubled zoo in Wales has been told it must shut its enclosures housing dangerous animals after failing to meet its zoo licence conditions. 

Ceredigion Council, the local authority responsible for licensing the zoo, issued the closure order to Borth Wild Animal Kingdom on 27th January because of “inadequate firearms arrangements in the event of an escape of a dangerous animal”.

The order covers species classed as ‘Category 1’ animals, including animals such as lions, lynx, wolfdogs, capuchin monkeys and pythons, all of which have been housed at the zoo.

This is not the first time the zoo has been banned from keeping dangerous animals.

In 2017 a lynx named Lillith escaped the zoo and was shot dead after five days on the loose. A second lynx named Nilly was strangled to death in a reported ‘handling error’ by staff at the zoo. 

After the incident, the zoo was issued a ban on keeping Category 1 animals but this was overturned on appeal, on the condition the zoo find a “competent” manager.

Freedom for Animals Director, Sam Threadgill said,

Time and again we are seeing this zoo fail to meet its legal requirements to keep wild animals. This zoo has repeatedly put the welfare of animals and the public at risk and we believe it is time it was shut down permanently. The council has the power to do this within the law and we urge them to show that the needs of animals and public protection are more important than keeping an outdated and failing zoo open. 

Under its previous owners and when known as Borth Animalarium, animals were confiscated from the zoo after it was found to be operating illegally, without the proper paperwork. However authorities failed to remove some of the animals including a 16 year old leopard, who remained at the zoo until his death. 

The zoo now has 28 days to appeal this recent council decision. They have closed their gates to the public as of today on a temporary basis. If they choose not to appeal or the appeal fails, the animals will be removed by the authorities. The council are working to find homes for the animals should this happen.