Animal rights campaigners will protest outside two West Midland zoos at the weekend to urge families to boycott the attractions.
The Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) are targeting Dudley Zoo and Twycross Zoo in Staffordshire on Zoo Awareness Weekend.
Birmingham Animal Action member Dean Bracher said: “We are opposed to zoos on ethical grounds and see animals’ place in nature more important than our needs to see them in captivity.
“When we can all see their innate beauty and in a natural state then zoos will have been consigned to history and we all benefit, especially the animals”
The Zoo Awareness Weekend first started in the early 1990s in order to highlight the animal rights and conservation issues surrounding animals kept in captivity.
It has become an annual fixture and will run between Friday and Monday, April 9.
The protest at Dudley Zoo will take place on Saturday, while the demonstration at Twycross will go ahead on Sunday.
Director of CAPS Liz Tyson said: “We created Zoo Awareness Weekend to encourage people to really think about what they are putting their time and money towards.”
Peter Suddock, chief executive officer at Dudley Zoo, said: “More than 24 million people visit zoos each year in the UK – a higher figure than attend Football League matches.
“Most spring and summer Bank Holidays a handful of animal rights campaigners position themselves at entrances to various zoos across the country. They anger visitors and irritate queuing members of the public.”
He added: “Zoos play an educational role at all levels from pre-school to PhD and also offer a fun day out for all the family.
“At Dudley Zoological Gardens we have 200,000-plus visitors annually through the gates, a figure we have seen grow steadily year-on-year, despite the current economic climate. This year’s figures are up an incredible 22 per cent.
“It’s their choice to be a visitor and we are immensely grateful for their loyalty.”