At Auckland Zoo we follow the Five Domains of Animal Welfare model, developed by Massey University Professor David Mellor, to ensure the animals in our care have the very best quality of life. It is used by all organisations that are accredited by the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) to assess animal welfare.

Animal welfare is of utmost importance to us here, meaning every species has its own action plan, and specific, tailored way we meet the domains of nutrition, environment, health, and behaviour, which results in a fifth domain – mental state. Our keepers think outside the box, go over and above, and use science and research to inform how we fulfil each of these domains.

In our ‘Science-based Animal Care’ video series, follow along with our keepers to discover how we meet, and exceed, animal needs and welfare here at Auckland Zoo. In the words of Carnivore Keeper Nick, ‘Just knowing that when I come to work I can give these guys the best possible care that I can offer to them, and enrich their quality of life, well that is what I do come to work for!”


Episode 1: Primates

Join keeper Sam as we take a look at how we care for primates at Auckland Zoo, beginning with analysing their diets with an internationally used software, ‘Zootrition’.


Episode 2: Carnivores

Join keeper Nick to discover how an animal’s physiology determines the way they are fed, the design of their environment, and how training is vital for stress-free health checks.


Episode 3: Birds

Join keeper Debs as she shows how we provide the best environments and nutrition for our kea, cockatoo, and kiwi!


Episode 4: Ungulates

Join keeper Dan to see how we provide nutritional diets and species-appropriate environments for our giraffe, zebra and rhino