And we’ve got the accreditation to prove it. 

Good welfare ensures that animals don’t just survive, they thrive!

Perth Zoo is very proud to be a Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) accredited zoo. 

That means when you visit, you can trust that each of our furry, feathered and scaly residents are being given the greatest care possible.  

We recently welcomed ZAA accreditation and Welfare Assessment Officer, Judith Gillespie, through the gates, and after a thorough assessment, she gave us the tick of approval to maintain our accreditation. 


Using the Five Domains Animal Welfare Model, the ZAA grants accreditation to zoos and aquariums around the country that have demonstrated a commitment to positive welfare. 

But rather than just checking whether an animal is fed and has a space to live, the external accreditor looks for examples of the animal being given a rich, diverse and fulfilling life made up of positive experiences. 

“The Five Domains framework focuses on positive welfare, and we check that the organisation can demonstrate that an animal is having good experiences and is generally thriving,” Judith said. 

“When we do site visits during the accreditation process, we need to see evidence of those good experiences in action. 

“Having a professional body like the ZAA oversee this process is very important because it provides consistency across all of the different organisations around the country that have animals in their care.”

The Five Domains Animal Welfare Model can be applied to any species, from tiny Western Swamp Tortoises to Southern White Rhinos, and everything in between!

But what exactly are the Five Domains?

  •  Environment: An animal’s habitat – including the substrate, size and vegetation – should provide plenty of opportunities within the space for the animal to be itself. 
  • Behaviour: An animal should have the opportunity to take part in mentally stimulating activities or interact with other animals in a suitable social structure, with solitary species housed in a space of their own. 
  • Nutrition: an animal should be provided with a diet that is nutritionally balanced based on scientific principles. 
  • Health: an animal should be given a high standard of health care to keep them physically healthy. 
  • Positive Mental State: if the first four domains are being met, the animal should be experiencing a positive mental state. 
We’re proud to be accredited with the ZAA, but that’s not where our work in good welfare stops. 

Our staff are the best of the best in animal welfare, and work to ensure we have a progressive, science-based approach to animal care. And we continue to advance our practices as more is learnt through research.

We watch everything – and we mean EVERYTHING- when it comes to our animals. All of this valuable is logged daily. 

Take a peak behind the curtain to see some of the notes recently taken by our animal carers. 

“Chose celery before any other preferred foods in diet today.” – Tiana, Ring-tailed Lemur
“Given bags of parsley for enrichment. High interest shown.” – Jaws, Tasmanian Devil
“5kg of meat presented as a scatter feed. He showed great interest searching for and consuming prey items.” – Raja, Komodo Dragon

By recording all this information daily, our animal carers can keep track of any patterns of changes in behaviour that could indicate compromised welfare. And with that data, we can make a plan to fix it!