Thinking Animal Welfare in Jeonju Zoo
Jeonju Zoo is home to the widest variety of animals outside Seoul, including tigers, lions, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, camels, chimps, kangaroos, and others. The zoo also hosts a range of endangered animals, such as Asian black bears, zebras, jaguars and others. There are around 610 animals of 103 species. Since its opening in 1978, the place is loved and frequented by the locals.
Recently, the city of Jeonju started to take bigger interest in improving the animal welfare. This led to an overhaul of the zoo to create a better and more just living conditions for them.
Improving animal welfare is about minimizing the human-induced pain and stress to the animals. It takes care not to inflict injuries, diseases, or other pain on the animals so that they can live in the happiest environment available.
Since 2014, the city of Jeonju has been renovating the zoo to create more ecological environment for the animals. The zoo removed fences and concrete landscapes to widen the habitat of the animals. The zoo aimed to create the most natural and sustainable environment for the animals.
Let’s find out what have been changed and what changes are on the way?
The tigers are napping under the warm afternoon sun. The zoo planted pine and bamboo trees and also created a small pond. It was interesting to see the magpies strolling around the tigers.
The lion shelter aimed to create the most savanna-like habitat for the lions. The zoo planted grasses and installed heated rocks for the lions to survive the cold weather.
The visitors to the zoo can now see the tigers and lions closer than ever before. But please don’t shout or scream.
The waterbirds observatory is now also closer to the audiences. However, the observatory may be inaccessible when health concerns arise.
This is the Forest of Wolves. The roof of the shelter was removed and the wolves’ habitat was widened fifty-fold than before. The zoo installed trees, grasses and rocks to create the most natural environment. To increase the visitors’ understanding of wolves, the guideboards are also installed.
The bear shelter for Asian black bears and brown bears is currently being renovated.
For the psychological welfare of the animals, the night opening no longer takes place since 2017. The night opening used to draw many visitors, but the zoo decided to uphold animal welfare over economic gain.
The zoo also opened animal hospital with state-of-art devices to cure animals.
The zoo prepared new programs for make the visit more worthwhile. Once every morning and afternoon, the animal experts will guide the visitors through the zoo with interesting stories about the animals. The visit to the zoo will become more educative and interesting!
I appreciate the city of Jeonju’s efforts to create better environment to the animals. I also believe that the zoo concerned with animal welfare will make the lives of both the animals and the people happier.