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What is Nature’s SAFE?

Nature’s SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) is one of Europe’s largest living biobanks dedicated to preserving and regenerating cells from the world’s most endangered species. We’ve been using state-of-the-art technologies to cryopreserve cells in tissues such as ovaries, testicles and ears at freezing temperatures (-196°C / -320°F) using liquid nitrogen. It’s possible that in the future, when advances in technology arrive, these viable tissues may be thawed and used to further conserve thousands of species globally. Bringing some animals back from the brink of extinction!

Our scientists have teamed up with some of the UK’s leading animal reproduction experts and, together, have founded Nature’s SAFE. The zoo has played a vital part in contributing biological samples in the race against extinction and Nature’s SAFE is now home to the more than 100 samples of highly endangered species. This work provides a vital insurance policy for threatened wildlife, so it can be protected for generations to come.

Why is this partnership important?

Dr Sue Walker, our Head of Science here at the zoo, and Co-Founder of Nature’s SAFE says:

“With gene pools and animal populations continually shrinking in the wild, the work of modern conservation zoos like ours has never been more important. Technologies, such as cryopreservation, offer us a new, critical piece of the conservation puzzle and helps us provide a safeguard for many of the world’s animals that, right now, we’re sadly on track to lose.”

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