Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac & a new free paper!

Collaborations with Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac in France

The whole team at AnimalConcepts is delighted to continue collaborating with Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac, in France, in its transition and transformation over the coming years in the space of animal, human, and planetary wellbeing.

"I met Sabrina more than 15 years ago, and at that time I made a promise to myself: one day I will collaborate with her. In February 2022 that we materialized this with a 3-day visit to do an audit of the zoo. Very quickly I decided on starting a long-term collaboration as change takes time and we have a lot to do. Her interest and expertise in animal, human, and planetary wellbeing allow us, beyond the animals that hold a fundamental place in our professions, to address more broadly the wellbeing of our team, community and planet. It is through our new philosophy that we aim to continue and develop our practices in the direction of better living together and respecting the planet we share. I am convinced that we are doing the right things, we take responsibility for who we are, and take steps in the directions of who we want to become and what we want to do and stand for", says Mr Mathieu Dorval, Director of Zoo de Bordeaux Pessac.

In their collaboration, different teams, Mathieu, his wife Nathalie Dorval and Sabrina are working on different aspects of animal wellbeing, such as enrichment, transforming care for elderly animals and a holistic approach to animal wellbeing through the lens of 24/7, with the support of the AC Team and Global Collaborators.

"Together we continue to develop strategies and action points, put the new philosophy into practice, and learn to think differently to act differently. The Zoo has hosted different team building and educational efforts, not only with local but also with international organisations. I applaud Mathieu and the teams at the Zoo for all the efforts, ups and downs, and all the small steps forward they are taking - action changes things!" says Sabrina Brando

Earlier this month, Sabrina Brando and the zoo staff engaged in consultations and teamwork focused on various aspects, such as expanding enrichment and nutrition programs, new building and design projects, staff training, human wellbeing, research, and upcoming educational opportunities with colleges and universities in 2023.

You can follow the updates and developments of this collaboration, including the specially designed elderly animal spaces, a new lion habitat, and other animals getting new environment with plenty of furnishing and complexity via Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac Facebook and AnimalConcepts Facebook pages as the work continues - see you there?

New free paper!

A new paper on handling and training of wild animals by Sabrina Brando and Max Norman is freely available.


There is an ethical responsibility to provide all animals living in human care with optimal and positive well-being. As animals living in zoos and aquariums frequently interact with their human caregivers as part of their daily care routines, it is both relevant and essential to consider the impact of these interactions on animal well-being. Allowing animals to have choice and control in multiple areas of their lives, such as by providing opportunities for them to voluntarily participate in their own care through, for example, positive reinforcement training, is an essential component of good animal well-being programs. This review aims to describe evidence-based approaches, ethics, and best practices in the handling and training of the many taxa held in zoos and aquariums worldwide, drawing from work in related animal care fields such as laboratories, farms, rescue, and sanctuaries. The importance of ongoing animal well-being assessments is discussed, with a particular focus on the need for continued review and refinement of processes and procedures pertaining to animal training and handling specifically. Review, enquiry, assessment, evaluation, and refinement will aim to dynamically support positive well-being for all animals.

Click HERE for an open-access PDF.


INTERBEING is 4 interconnected platforms & an online community, which continues to grow with new content every week! Another Science into Practice is available on the animal wellbeing platform, as well as new foundations, human, and planetary wellbeing content. Want to learn more? Sign up HERE to access, share, and learn anytime, anywhere.


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