25th March 2024

Watch our shocking new investigation into Cumbria Safari Zoo - formally known as South Lakes Zoo - now!

How many animals have to die, get injured, or escape? What does a zoo have to do to be closed down?

Freedom for Animals has been passionately campaigning for the closure of Cumbria Safari Zoo for many years, after carrying out detailed research and numerous investigations into the zoo - all of which uncovered persistent shortcomings and serious cases of animal neglect.

Our initial investigation into the zoo took place in 2017, after a damning council report came to light and revealed the tragic deaths of 486 animals within a three-year period. This terrible news led to the zoo being dubbed ‘Britain’s Worst Zoo’ in the press. Yet regardless of this, the zoo has continued to remain open to the public and been granted new licences. You can read more into the notorious history of the zoo here

As a result of these events, we have had no choice but to keep a close eye on Cumbria Safari Zoo, and have since carried out further investigations on site alongside other animal protection charities such as the Born Free Foundation. Yet despite gathering considerable evidence of continuing animal welfare breaches, Westmorland and Furness Council have so far failed to take decisive action, and animals are continuing to suffer there.

Therefore we, at Freedom for Animals, knew we had to go one step further, and take serious action for the innocent animals imprisoned there. We entered its walls…undercover.

Throughout 2023, we deployed an undercover investigator to gain access into the zoo as a volunteer, to gather behind the scenes evidence and uncover the true reality for the animals held captive there. 

We hope that by taking this important step and sharing our devastating findings publicly, the council will be moved to enforce appropriate action - to finally close down the zoo and rehome the animals to appropriate sanctuaries.

For too long the zoo has been allowed to brush the collective concerns of Freedom for Animals, the public and other animal protection organisations under the carpet, and enough is enough.

For Bruce, Mona, Zippy, Valentino, and all the innocent animals who have tragically suffered or died within this zoo, we share these videos.

Every day this week, in the run up to our annual Zoo Awareness Weekend, we will be dropping a new video, highlighting different events that happened throughout the investigation.





 Please help us to fight for their freedom by sharing their stories far and wide.

How you can help:

Sign our petition - to demand Westmorland and Furness Council close down this zoo!

Share these videos - sharing these important videos will help to raise awareness, and inspire others to take action for animals! Be sure to tag Westmorland and Furness Council on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Take action! - Join a local demonstration or outreach event, or hold your own in a town near you! You can find out more information by emailing [email protected]