Zoo donations top £38,000 in 2015 SEARCH NEWS

A capybara lies between two tapirs at Blackpool Zoo.

A big thank you to the zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums that supported World Land Trust (WLT) in 2015. Altogether, zoos  from different parts of Britain and Ireland showed their commitment to conservation by donating a total of £38,379 to WLT during the year.

Chessington World of Adventures made a magnificent donation of more than £25,000 via Chessington Conservation Fund to fund the purchase of land to extend Nangaritza Reserve in Ecuador.

In the Isle of Man Curraghs Wildlife Park continued to support land purchase in Colombia. The park’s total donations for 2015 were £4,000 which, added to a donation of £1,000 in 2014, was enough to save 50 acres of rainforest in its 50th anniversary year, rightly a cause for celebration.

Further south on the Isle of Wight Amazon World Zoo Park donated £400 to save an acre in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

BIAZA Buy an Acre

Other zoos that donated to WLT in 2015 chose to support BIAZA Buy an Acre, a partnership project between WLT and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). In 2015 and 2016 members of BIAZA are raising funds to purchase and protect an area of Yungas forest in Argentina. During the year donations to the appeal topped £8,800, which is more than half way towards the appeal target of £15,000.

BIAZA-WLT Working together logo

BIAZA itself donated more than a £1,100 to the project in 2015, the proceeds of raffles and other fundraising activities at its AGM and other meetings throughout the year.

Zoe Williamson, BIAZA’s Communications and Membership Manager, said: ”We have enjoyed a great partnership with World Land Trust for the past ten years and we are delighted with the response we’ve had from our members, particularly for our more recent Buy An Acre campaigns. We are well on our way to meeting our target for the Argentinian project and have set up a Just Giving site to enable visitors to BIAZA member collections to donate directly.”

In England several zoos supported the BIAZA project. Blackpool Zoo’s donations of more than £2,000 during the year brought to £20,000 the total donated to WLT by the zoo since 2008. Commenting on this milestone achievement, zoo Director Darren Webster said: “Here at Blackpool Zoo we are proud of our long standing relationship supporting the World Land Trust and the valuable work they do in creating reserves, and giving a permanent haven to habitats and wildlife.”

Banham Zoo in Norfolk donated £2,000 bringing its overall donation total to £17,500 since 2008, and also in Norfolk, Amazona Zoo donated £294.

Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne donated £500 and its sister organisation Wildlife Heritage Foundation based at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent donated £1,000. West Midland Safari & Leisure Park also donated £225.

In Scotland, Fife Zoo has a WLT collection box and donated £33 to WLT’s general fund. In Donegal in Ireland Tropical World at Alcorn’s donated £1,600 to BIAZA Buy an Acre.

Thanks to Kelly Jacobs

At the end of 2015 Kelly Jacobs moved on from her post of Education, Outreach and Training Manager.

During her eight years in Halesworth Kelly managed WLT’s Wild Spaces programme, which gives zoos, aquariums and their associations the opportunity to support conservation in the wild. She oversaw the development of the WLT-BIAZA partnership, and a number of highly successful projects including the creation of the BIAZA reserve in Brazil, the BIAZA Keepers of the Wild and the BIAZA Buy an Acre projects in Mexico and Argentina.

Outside of WLT Kelly was active in the local community and a Trustee of Halesworth’s Millennium Green. “Kelly made a real contribution to World Land Trust and to Halesworth. We were all sad to see her go and we wish her well in the future,” said John Burton, WLT Chief Executive.

More information

WLT’s Wild Spaces programme gives zoos, aquariums and their associations the opportunity to support conservation in the wild. If you would like to know more about how your zoo can become involved with Wild Spaces please email [email protected]

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