Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Is paying fees to look at animals impermissible?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
This would be permissible.
The basis is that confining animals is permissible provided they are fed and treated properly. Following from this, paying to see these animals would also be permitted as there is nothing indicating prohibition.
However, there are ethical considerations to take into account. While some zoos are set-up to conserve certain species and treat their animals well, there are others whose practices cannot be condoned. These zoos should be avoided. Indeed, the Prophet (God bless him) warned his followers of ill-treatment of animals when he said, “Fear God in regards to your treatment of animals.” [Abu Dawud]
Please see: The Reward for Feeding Animals
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani