In recent days, there has been significant uproar surrounding ZSL London Zoo's "Zoo Lates" events as it was revealed in a U.K. national newspaper that one visitor "poured beer over a tiger" and another "stripped off and attempted to enter the penguin pool." In addition to these two incidents, other visitors were said to be getting "touchy feely" with the baby penguins while another man asked a member of staff "which penguin can I fight?"
Last year, the zoo admitted that a tamandua, who staff allow to wander around amongst guests, despite being almost blind, may get "trampled to death" during one of the Zoo Lates events. And yet both the event and the tamandua's "public walk-around" went ahead regardless.
A number of animal protection organizations have spoken out against the events for years.
Against the backdrop of the alcohol-fueled parties hosted by the zoo annually, a spokesperson for ZSL claimed that "animal welfare is of paramount importance, and ... the small number of night-time incidents needed to be seen in context."