MARWELL Wildlife’s annual animal audit will fail to count the physical and mental suffering endured by these wild animals as a result of the frustration of a lifetime spent in cages (“Zoo staff take stock of all animals great and small”, January 4).

Zoos put the “con” in conservation by trying to hoodwink the public into believing that the salvation of endangered species lies in warehousing these sensitive animals.

They give the public a false sense of security that something truly meaningful is being done to help threatened animals when, in fact, they are diverting attention away from the real issue: the problems causing their numbers to plummet.

Hampshire’s paying public can go home, but zoo animals are stuck, living exhibits and crowd-pulling attractions until the day they die in captivity – thousands of miles from where they truly belong.

BEN WILLIAMSON, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).