Skip links

Zoos and Technology: How Zoos Are Using Technology to Improve Animal Welfare

Zoos and Technology: Zoos around the world are leveraging technology to enhance the welfare and management of animals under their care. From state-of-the-art enclosures replicating natural habitats, to engaging digital platforms for comprehensive tracking of animals’ health and behaviour, technology is transforming the way zoos operate. This article delves into the myriad ways in which technology is being used in zoos to improve animal welfare.

Monitoring animal health and well-being

Wearable Sensors

Technology has revolutionized the way we monitor animal health and well-being. Wearable sensors have made it easy to track an animal’s activity levels, heart rate, and other physiological data in real-time. This data can be used to identify patterns or changes that may indicate potential health issues, allowing for early intervention and more effective treatment.


Camera systems also play a significant role in monitoring animal behavior and interactions. By capturing video footage of animals in their natural habitat, researchers can analyze their behavior and identify any changes that may be indicative of stress, illness, or other issues.

Data Collection Analysis

Automated data collection and analysis is another technology that has made it easier to monitor animal health and well-being. With this technology, data can be collected continuously and analyzed in real-time, allowing for early detection of potential problems. This can help prevent the spread of disease or other issues, ultimately improving overall animal health and well-being.

Tracking Systems

Tracking systems have also become increasingly popular in zoos, allowing for more accurate monitoring of animal movements. This technology can help identify any abnormal behavior or changes in an animal’s daily routine, which could be a sign of illness or distress.

Providing environmental enrichment

Interactive exhibits

Technology has also played an increasingly important role in providing environmental enrichment for animals living in captivity. Interactive exhibits and games have been developed to stimulate animals and encourage natural behaviors. These technologies can provide animals with new and interesting experiences, helping to reduce boredom and stress.

Automated Feeding

Automated feeding systems are another technology that has been used to provide animals with a variety of foods and enrichment activities. These systems can be programmed to dispense food at different times and in different ways, encouraging animals to use their natural foraging behaviors to obtain the food. This can help keep animals active and engaged, promoting overall health and well-being.

zoo and technology an vet doctor making a procedure to a wild animal

Climate-controlled enclosures

Climate-controlled enclosures are also an important technology that can be used to provide animals with comfortable and appropriate living conditions. These enclosures are designed to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, ensuring that animals are not exposed to extreme weather conditions. This can help reduce stress and improve overall health, particularly for animals that are not adapted to the local climate.

Technology in conservations efforts

Captive breeding

Captive breeding programs are another important tool for conserving endangered species, and technology has played a key role in their success. Techniques such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and embryo transfer have allowed scientists to increase the genetic diversity of captive populations, which can improve the health and fitness of future generations. In addition, genetic testing and other technologies are used to ensure that animals are being bred in a way that maximizes their chances of survival in the wild.

Education of the Public

Finally, technology is also being used to engage and educate the public about the importance of conservation. Social media, websites, and mobile apps are just a few of the digital platforms being used to raise awareness about endangered species and their habitats. These tools are helping to build support for conservation efforts by providing accessible and engaging ways for people to learn about the issues and take action to protect the natural world.

In conclusion, technology is a powerful tool for supporting conservation efforts around the world. By using technology to track and monitor endangered species in the wild, breed and reintroduce animals to their natural habitats, and educate the public about the importance of conservation, we can work together to protect our planet’s biodiversity for generations to come.

Examples of technology use in Zoos

1. Monitoring Animal Health and Behaviour:

The Bristol Zoo Gardens in the UK has implemented technology to monitor the health and behaviour of their elephants. They have incorporated climate-controlled enclosures, interactive exhibits and games, as well as automated feeding systems, which provide an environment that ensures the comfort and happiness of the elephants. The zoo also uses automated data collection to identify changes in the feeding behaviour of the elephants that may alert the staff to health issues.

2. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tags:

The Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark uses RFID tags to track their animals and their movements. This allows the staff to monitor the welfare of the animals, checking for any abnormalities that may arise. Additionally, the camera systems and automated data collection software enable them to gather data, which helps to create a better understanding of the animals’ needs and behaviours.

3. Wearable Sensors:

The San Diego Zoo in the USA has employed wearable sensors to monitor the health and behaviour of their gorillas. These sensors help to track the gorillas’ activity levels, enabling the staff to ensure that there is enough exercise to keep the animals healthy. The zoo also utilises interactive exhibits and games to stimulate the animals and keep them entertained.

4. Intervention and Improved Social Dynamics:

The Copenhagen Zoo’s orangutan exhibit is fitted with camera systems that monitor the interactions between the animals. By analysing the footage, zookeepers are able to intervene and facilitate the social dynamics of the group, resulting in improved well-being and quality of life for the orangutans.

5. Enclosure Size:

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden used wearables to track cheetah activity levels, which then informed a redesign of the enclosure size, allowing the animals to exercise more and, therefore, improving their welfare. This approach ensures that the animals are provided with a comfortable, stimulating environment in which they can live and thrive.