As compassionate members of the public around the country make plans to ensure that companion animals are protected from frightening fireworks, a major UK safari park is proudly promoting its “Fireworks Festival” to zoo visitors. On the 3rd November, West Midlands Safari Park will be hosting a fireworks display within the zoo grounds; a move which a leading animal protection charity has called “irresponsible” and says shows “a complete disregard for the welfare of the animals involved”.

Freedom for Animals have previously exposed Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent for playing host to a drink and drug-fuelled dance festival in the zoo grounds. The resulting evidence which was gathered by investigators from the charity, showed animals being harassed by party-goers as well as lax security failing to prevent objects being hurled into animal enclosures. The footage and testimonies led to calls being made by MPs to tighten regulations on the types of events that are allowed in zoos.

The event at West Midlands will include “spectacular fireworks and bonfire, late-night rides, safari illuminations [,] African themed music to bring the party alive” and also a sea lion show and “hog roast”.

Former Director of Freedom for Animals, Liz Tyson, said:

“It is common knowledge that animals can find fireworks immensely stressful and frightening and so you would hope that zoos would be doing all they can to protect animals at this time of year. Sadly, we seem to be seeing an increase in events up and down the country where, in place of putting in measures to protect the animals from harm, zoos are actively promoting and hosting events which have clear potential to put the animals at risk. It appears that profit comes first”.

Ms Tyson added:

“It is also astounding that the zoo are proudly publicising their sea lion show as part of the night’s entertainment. With moves towards a ban on the use of performing wild animals in circuses being supported by the majority of the British public, it is shocking that a zoo which purports to be focused on species conservation still features this sort of exploitation as part of its visitor experience”.

The charity called upon members of the public to email the zoo and ask them to reconsider plans: [email protected]