What Is a Sanctuary?

What’s the difference between a sanctuary and a zoo?

In this short video, excerpted from a talk she gave in Atlanta about the Whale Sanctuary Project, Dr. Lori Marino, President of the Whale Sanctuary Project, defines a sanctuary as “a place of refuge” and highlights two key differences between sanctuaries and zoos.

Sanctuaries exist primarily for the benefit of the animals who live there, while zoos exist primarily for the entertainment of the people who visit them.

And sanctuaries never engage in captive breeding, since the last thing they want is to add to the number of animals in captivity.

Dr. Marino highlights the work of the Performing Animal Welfare Society as a model sanctuary for animals who have retired from captivity in zoos and circuses.