British TV star Martin Clunes has savaged New Zealand's zoos in a recent interview, describing them as "awful places for such a modern country".
Speaking to The Telegraph, the actor-turned-nature-documentary-maker said he was unhappy with zoos in New Zealand and they should all be shut down.
"I wish they'd just shut all the bloody zoos, let those animals die, the ones that can't be rehomed," he told The Telegraph.
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"You do get some surprises. I would say New Zealand is really backwards with its zoos - awful places for such a modern country."
His controversial comments have angered Wellington Zoo CEO Karen Fifield.
Ms Fifield told NZME Mr Clunes' ideas about New Zealand zoos were ill-informed, and ignored the conservation efforts made by New Zealand zoos.
"I am not sure which New Zealand zoos Mr Clunes visited, but the progressive New Zealand zoos are well-run and have animal welfare and saving species at the forefront of their work," Ms Fifield told NZME.
"New Zealand zoos are staffed by professional experts in animal husbandry and welfare, with more qualifications and experience in this area than I suggest Mr Clunes has."
Ms Fifield said our zoos are all members of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia, and therefore are animal welfare accredited.