Time to be a zoo again
When Gerald Durrell founded Jersey Zoo in 1959, he was a pioneer in his belief that good zoos could do great things in conservation. Today Durrell continues that mission and we believe that we set an exemplary example of best in class zoo practice across animal husbandry, education, science and conservation.
By definition from the Oxford English Dictionary, a zoo is ‘An establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public’
Commenting on this change, Dr Lesley Dickie, CEO, says: "At Durrell we are proud to be a zoo and the work we do both here in Jersey and in the wild all follows the same mission – to save species from extinction. Zoos are now the fourth largest funders of conservation in the world and we are pleased to make a significant contribution. We are also proud that Jersey is our home and this name change re-affirms that"
The global organization, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, will not be affected by this change which only refers to the zoo. The primary objective of the name change is making the zoo more visible to visitors to the island as well as staying true to the wishes of our founder, Gerald Durrell, who originally named it Jersey Zoo when it opened nearly 60 years ago.
Durrell members will still be members of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and one of the benefits of membership is access to Jersey Zoo.
Dr Dickie further comments; "We recently carried out a survey at Jersey airport of visitors leaving the island and many tourists did not know that there was a zoo here. This was a big problem, accompanied by the fact I kept meeting people in my first few weeks in Jersey who apologised for referring to Durrell as a zoo. Zoo is a universally recognised word whereas wildlife park means different things in different languages"
Dr Lee Durrell, Honorary Director, is very much in support of this change and comments: "Putting ‘zoo’ back into Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is something I welcome, for it reinforces what Gerald Durrell had been working towards all his life - to ensure that zoos are genuine and powerful instruments for conservation. Ten years ago, we made a conscious decision to avoid the word ‘zoo’, because of its perceived negative connotations. Today we embrace it, because modern zoos have made great progress in the service of conservation, both in the zoo setting and in the wild, through innovative research, professional training, inspirational public education and improvements in animal wellbeing. Gerry and his early team had pioneered much of this, and Durrell will continue its ground-breaking work through Jersey Zoo".
We hope that our members, visitors and the people of Jersey will support this change and continue to enjoy our beautiful zoo and all it has to offer.