20 May 2022

Lord Goldsmith visited the zoo to see how we’re delivering real conservation impact through our mission to prevent extinction.

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Lord Goldsmith, the Government Minister responsible for UK zoos, visited us today to learn more about the important role we play in tackling the global biodiversity crisis. He took a tour of the zoo, and met with some of our keepers, scientific experts and field managers.

We spoke to the Minister about our ground-breaking elephant care and conservation work, including our ongoing efforts to find a safe and effective vaccine for elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). This devastating disease threatens the survival of elephants globally, and our collaboration with other international conservationists is working tirelessly to find a solution.

He also learnt about our conservation work with the Andean bear, a species vulnerable to extinction, which we work to protect through our field projects in Peru. The Minister heard how the Government’s Darwin funding scheme is having a real impact to prevent the extinction of these bears.

Conservation education is a crucial part of our work as a charity zoo. Lord Goldsmith met with pupils involved with our ongoing work in schools, who told him how our wide-ranging education work is igniting passion for wildlife and energising the conservationists of the future.

As a major wildlife charity, we’re at the forefront of a wide variety of conservation projects both across the world and here in the UK. Our movement to shift demand to sustainable palm oil is one example of this. We discussed this with the Minister during a walk around Monsoon Forest, the UK’s largest zoological building, which embodies the very best of what a 21st century zoo looks like.

Finally, Lord Goldsmith heard more about how work carried out here in Chester has a direct impact on projects oversees. We discussed species recovery and our work with eastern black rhinos, such as our key role in the largest ever translocation of rhinos from Europe to Africa. This initiative typifies how Chester Zoo undertakes conservation work as part of a holistic, planned approach to species recovery.

We hope the Minister went away with a fresh understanding of how a modern zoo operates and the vital contribution we’re making to tackle the global extinction crisis at a time when it’s needed most.

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NOW is the time to ACT FOR WILDLIFE. Conservation is CRITICAL; species are under threat. TOGETHER we can make a BIG difference. Take action TODAY and join us in PREVENTING EXTINCTION.