Top 5 most depressing zoos in the world

We all like to go to the zoo occasionally and we enjoy seeing animals in their exhibits seemingly happy and healthy. However, some zoos around the world do not offer good living conditions for their animals, and some are just vanity projects in which animals will be slaughtered for food as when necessary.


5. Luohe Zoo, China. As you can see from the photo above, at this zoo in China, they actually use fake animals to entice more money out of the visitors. It is a well-known fact that Luohe Zoo uses a Red Tibetan Mastiff to pass off as a lion. Of course, not many people believe what they are seeing, but it goes to show the lengths some zoos will go to make money. And who knows where the real lion is – dead or alive? Answers on a postcard, please.


4. Mumbai Zoo, India. It may be hard to believe, but this much-maligned zoo in Mumbai is actually on something of an upwards curve. It used to be deserving of a much higher place in a list like this one, but they have actually improved facilities for some animals in recent years. However, as you can see from the photo above, crows regularly attack the weak and malnourished elephants, whereas some of Mumbai’s infamous stray dogs regularly break into the enclosures at the zoo and kill some animals, such as deer. Surely if the operators of Mumbai Zoo actually cared about their animals, the first thing they would do is actually make sure strays dogs can’t get in through the fencing!


3. Giza Zoo, Egypt. This has been known as in the past as “Hell for Animals”, as lions are reportedly controlled by tear gas, the bears riot with one another and recently a giraffe committed “suicide” to escape the poor conditions of the zoo. The poor conditions of the animals are not the only thing to worry about at Giza Zoo, though, for the pay is so low for the zookeepers that they have taken the measure of actually slaughtering the animals themselves to sell meat on the black market, especially camel meat, which is a delicacy in Egypt.

Photo: Opposing Views
Photo: Opposing Views

2. Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia. Regularly known as one of the worst zoos in the world, Bonbin Surabaya (Surabaya Zoo) keeps its animals in awful conditions. The animals are malnourished and many have defects such as missing ears or missing legs. There is no active breeding programme here either, so the animals are lonely and without purpose, and visitors to the zoo are known to throw food at the animals to provoke them and torture them. In 2014, over 40 animals died at Surabaya Zoo, and there is a lot of steam building up, even among locals, to shut this awful zoo place once and for all.

Photo: Opposing Views

1. Kabul Zoo, Afghanistan. The worst zoo in the world must be Kabul Zoo in Afghanistan. While this may not be on the regular tourist radar, this zoo once proudly showed off over 500 animals in good conditions, but decades of war have meant that the zoo’s animal population has been decimated – as has the quality of their living conditions. One of the “major attractions” at Kabul Zoo is its lion, which is unfortunately blind. Warlords and soldiers often entered the zoo to kill animals for food, and nowadays even regular paying visitors are allowed to harass the animals without any attention from the staff. Many animals are left to starve due to negligence from the zookeepers and over 400 animals have actually died of starvation here in the recent past.

The featured image used in this article is courtesy of National Geographic.

10 thoughts on “Top 5 most depressing zoos in the world

      1. It has been a while since I last visit Ljubljana zoo (the only zoo in Slovenia), but I remember it as a decent zoo. Would have to revisit it to see how it changed over the years.


  1. Such grim reading! I recently went to a zoo in Myanmar when travelling from Mon state back to Yangon. I thought that was an awful place, with a lone orangutan looking so sad and elephants chained up swaying from side to side… But at least they didn’t look malnourished!


      1. Sorry, I don’t remember seeing the name of the zoo in English. It was en-route from Hpa-An to Yangon on the highway… Will try and figure out the name!


  2. Oh my god, those animals! I can’t imagine how cruel these people are. May all the animals whoch died rest in peace. 😔


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