Leader: If we could talk to the animals ...
Now animal behaviour experts believe they can tell which creatures are the most comfortable.
After analysing more than 100 research papers on behaviour observed across more than 250 species in zoos, they found elephants get the most out of having guests.
Interaction with humans at feeding time increased social activity and decreased the repetitive behaviour associated with boredom. Elephants were not alone in reacting positively to visitors, with similar responses from penguins, jaguars, bears and cockatoos, to name just a few.
Sadly, around the world, the distress of animals kept in poor conditions is all too plain. The many improvements to enclosures recently at attractions such as Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park are to be applauded.
If they could talk, the animals would surely say so too.