THE SCIENCE OF
CARE FOR THE RARE
Animal welfare is the foundation of all that we do.
Whilst captive animals typically live longer than their wild relatives, a long life is no guarantee of a good life. The conundrum facing animals in human care is that large, complex environments are typically better at providing for important psychological needs, but smaller, simpler environments make it easier for humans to protect the physical wellbeing of animals.
Care for the Rare believes that wildlife facilities don’t need to replicate the wild in order to deliver good welfare; zebras don’t need to escape lion attacks or deal with chronic parasitic infections to be happy in wildlife parks, but by providing captive wild animals with experiences that are important to them, whilst also protecting them from unnecessary harms, we believe it's possible to provide higher welfare than animals would typically experience in the wild – a state we call Peak Welfare.
Until now, there has been no mechanism to identify what is important to an animal if they lack the opportunity to experience it. For the first time, the Animal Welfare Priority Identification System (AWPIS©) addresses this issue allowing Care for the Rare to design environments delivering Peak Welfare.
AWPIS© has been deployed in habitats around the world to identify what matters to animals, informing habitat design and management and ultimately allowing us to reimagine what zoos and wildlife parks might look like.