22 October 2015

It is our mission to Act for Wildlife and be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide. We wouldn’t be able to do this without people – it’s a combination of our field conservation, applied conservation science, research, conservation breeding, animal welfare and education teams who together protect endangered wildlife.

Last month some of our science and conservation team took part in the Science Uncovered festival. The annual event is part of European Researchers’ Night and is open to the public; providing a fun evening dedicated to popular science and learning. More than 30 countries and over 300 cities take part and each year it gets bigger and better!

The event showcased the work researchers do in engaging ways, and promoted research careers to young people and their parents. To ensure vital conservation and science work continues into the future it’s important that we inspire and support the next generation.

It was the first time Manchester Museum hosted Science Uncovered Manchester and was a great evening showcasing local researchers and their work. There were hundreds of interactive activities taking place, all under one roof; promoting research careers to the next generation of scientists.

We thought it would be great to join a group of amazing and dynamic scientists in Manchester Museum for an after-hours takeover, showcasing all the various ways we work to protect wildlife in the UK and globally. Situated in the Living Worlds gallery (of course!) and equipped with toys, jars of zoo food, microchip detectors, video clips and ‘fake’ zoo poo!

We shared secrets revealed when our endocrinologists study the dung of our elephants and rhinos – clues to help breeding can be found in the poo! Our team also had a black rhino dating game that helped to explain the science behind conservation breeding for this rare but critically endangered species. Visitors also learnt about feeding fussy frogs from our nutritionist, discovered what we find from watching our animals with our behaviour and welfare scientist and about how we’re conserving native species around the zoo.

Chester Zoo staff member observing animal behaviour
Chester Zoo staff member observing animal behaviour

Everyone enjoyed revealing the science behind Chester Zoo’s conservation work with visitors and other scientists taking part in the event. If you missed it this time around, keep an eye out for details of next year’s event. If you can’t wait until then, our zoo nutritionist is taking part in Manchester Science Festival’s Girl Geek Dinner this evening.

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates from our science team or you can keep up to date with what they’re up to by following our science Twitter account. For more in-depth information you could take a look at our annual Science Reviews and publications.