Nature in a Box: A Primer on Wildlife in Captivity


Rob Laidlaw, Executive Director, Zoocheck

This illustrated session will examine the status of wildlife captivity in Canada and some of the key issues, trends and challenges associated with captive animals, including those on public display in zoos and aquariums and wild animals held in private hands as pets. It will also examine several key housing and husbandry considerations for captive wildlife and provide an introduction to some quick assessment systems, including the ZEQAP and EMODE. The session will conclude by looking at future possibilities for wildlife in captivity by providing a number of recommendations for change at both a local and regional level.


  1. Obtain an understanding of the wildlife in captivity issue landscape in Canada.
  2. Learn about several wildlife in captivity assessment programs that can provide assistance and guidance when dealing with captivity issues.
  3. Get insight into strategies for addressing wildlife in captivity issues on a local and provincial level.

Rob Laidlaw is a Chartered Biologist, award-winning author of nine children’s books and Executive Director of the wildlife protection charity Zoocheck. His work throughout the years has taken him around the world and has involved almost every kind of advocacy initiative from lobbying governments to rescuing animals, including many successful initiatives to change laws, policies, practices and to improve conditions for wildlife in captivity.

Read our interview with Rob Laidlaw here.