Captive vs Wild Animals in Zoo

I was wondering if common local animals (that can’t fly) found in a zoo should be counted as wild or captive. I was at a zoo in Belize and one of the water exhibits had sliders, and the zoo advertises that it has turtles. But the zoo was filled with large iguanas and basilisk moving in and out, and the keepers said how frogs come in at night, so I don’t think there’s anything stopping wild turtles from using an available water source.
I was also wondering about this one young crocodile in the pond, since it was about the same size as an iguana and all the other crocs were adults, in their own enclosure, and had a sign with their name and story, but I feel thats pushing it.

There’s no reason wild animals found living in zoos should not be considered wild. Just make sure that the individual you are observing is indeed a wild individual.

You can add these observations to this project:


Agreed. As long as you confirm the animal is not captive, I don’t see why it’s a problem to call it wild; no different than animals that live in urban areas imo


Wild animals in zoos are also explicitly listed as being considered wild on the iNat help page:

" Captive / cultivated (planted)

  • zebra in a zoo
  • poppy in a garden
  • tree planted 1, 10, or 100 years ago by humans
  • butterfly mounted in a display case and not appropriately marked with date and location of original collection
  • your pet such as a dog or cat
  • plants that grew from seeds that were planted in the ground or scattered


  • zebra in the Serengeti (assuming it’s not in a zoo in the Serengeti)
  • fly on a zebra in a zoo
  • weed or other unintended plant growing in a garden
  • butterfly that flew into a building
  • snake that you just picked up (yes, it’s in your hand where you intended it to be, but the place and time is where the snake intended to be)
  • feral dog or cat
  • your museum/herbarium specimens that are appropriately marked with date and location of original collection
  • garden plant that is reproducing on its own and spreading outside of the intended gardening area
  • a pigeon that benefits from human populations but is not actually raised by humans
  • a bird caught by a pet cat (presuming the bird isn’t also a pet)
  • a bird (not pet bird) that comes to an outdoor bird feeder
  • living organisms dispersed by the wind, water, and other forces apart from humans
  • a species that had been introduced to a new region and has established a population outside of human care"