Detroit Zoological Society Hosts Animal Welfare Workshop

Animal care staff from throughout the U.S. to receive training at Detroit Zoo

October 5, 2015


From crawling around in the warthog habitat to standing 18-feet tall in a bucket truck overlooking the giraffe landscape, participants in an immersive workshop at the Detroit Zoo this week will learn how to assess and improve animal welfare in zoos.

The Detroit Zoological Society’s (DZS) Center for Zoo Animal Welfare (CZAW) will host animal care staff from around the country October 7-11, 2015, for its annual workshop, “From Good Care to Great Welfare”. The workshop is designed to help participants better understand animals’ perspectives and experiences, address the challenges captivity imposes on animal welfare, and develop the skills necessary to assess and improve animals’ overall well-being.

“Captive exotic animal welfare has emerged as an important topic of discussion, and we are committed to understanding how animals living in zoos can thrive, not just survive,” said Stephanie Allard, CZAW director and DZS director of animal welfare. “One of the critical needs for the advancement of zoo animal welfare is a better understanding of how living in human care impacts individual welfare.”

Workshop participants will gain knowledge related to current research on captive animal behavior and ecology, techniques for assessing environmental and husbandry factors affecting welfare, management and exhibit design, and identification and resolution of welfare issues. The workshop format includes lectures, discussions, group projects, demonstrations, and multiple hands-on opportunities with animal environments at the Detroit Zoo.

Founded by the DZS in 2009, CZAW is a resource center for captive animal welfare knowledge, research and best practices; a convener and forum for exotic animal welfare science, practice and policy discussions; and a center conducting research and training, and recognizing advances in exotic animal welfare. For more information about CZAW, visit