(Two adjoining gibbon enclosures (see gibbon top left).)
The smaller primate cages seem to be small, too. A far cry from their natural environment.
It's undoubtedly true that, without zoos, us humans would not hold as much respect as we currently do for many animals, especially those who are endangered. And, it's clear to see that Drayton Manor zoo is doing a lot to support various animal charities, as well as providing a spacious home for the majority of their animals. Tapirs roam in large fields, and meerkats have a spacious, heated inside den that people can walk through via a raised walkway, as well as a large outdoor enclosure. Inside reptile houses give people an amazing view of exotic reptiles lazing in the humid heat they would experience in their natural environment. But there are some instances where animal welfare should come before profits. Drayton Manor, as a whole, is known as a theme park, not a zoo. the zoo covers little more than 15 acres, and houses over 100 animals. In this space are large walkways, a railway line for a small attraction train, cafes, and parks for children. On the other hand, West Midlands Safari Park covers 200 acres and houses over 600 animals, who are allowed to roam relatively freely, while the humans are contained in the tiny box. Surely this is the way to go? Allowing animals to roam in a more natural (though not perfect) environment, alongside those of their own kind, rather than having them confined to a tiny cage, offering little to the conservation effort.
In all, it's unfair to keep animals in tiny cages next to a theme park full of loud, rattling rides and screaming guests; a far cry from their natural habitat. The park covers 280 acres, of which only 113 are in use. In all, only 13% of the land used is dedicated to the zoo. What about the other 167 acres? Surely some of this could be easily developed to accommodate for the animals currently residing at the zoo, to make their lives more comfortable, and to allow for a better experience for visitors. Peering in at an animal through a wire cage is saddening to anyone. Though, another option is for the park to get rid of the zoo altogether. It's run-down, with seemingly little effort put into maintenance anymore (enclosures are dirty and crumbling, populations are dwindling - as seen in the case of the chimps and the Sumatran Tiger), and it's not what draws customers in. Animals there could easily be relocated to larger zoo or rescue facilities in the UK (eg Monkey World in Dorset) to live out their days in peace and happiness.
I was surprised to see very little about the quality of the zoo anywhere. There are few posts raising concerns about the conditions, despite Drayton Manor having a maximum capacity of 15,000 visitors per day, and being the fifth most popular theme park in the UK.