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Jersey Zoo

Name change for Durrell Wildlife Park

Sumatran orangutan

From 3rd April the popular Durrell Wildlife Park will be changing its name to Jersey Zoo. The animal conservation park was originally founded under this name in 1959 when Gerald Durrell opened his life long project on March 26th but was changed when the word ‘zoo’ began to have negative connotations.

Gerald Durrell (known as Gerry), believed passionately that zoos should conserve and protect endangered species. At the time of opening Jersey Zoo, the primary objective of most other zoos was to show a range of fascinating and popular animals in order to capture public attention. Durrell had been turned down from positions at other zoos due to his pioneering ideas. Needing to house his growing collection of animals, he leased Les Augres Manor and began the exciting job of searching for further endangered species.

By 1963, with his growing consciousness about zoo habitats, Gerry founded Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, now known as Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Further trusts were set up all around the world, all with the aim of conserving endangered species. In Jersey successful captive breeding for severely endangered species saw the births of a rare white eared pheasant in 1969 and by 1972, the birth of the first gorilla.

Jersey Zoo will continue with its mission of saving and conserving endangered species and now has successful programmes in captive breeding for a wide range of animals from rare snakes to bats and bears. Membership will still be to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, however with the public now valuing the conservation side of well set up zoos and passion behind good zoo keeping, helped by the recent ITV series,’The Durrells’, Jersey Zoo is ready to return.


About the author

Posted by Christina

Christina's early memories include boarding a plane to visit Kuwait at the age of two and taking big family holidays in Scotland, Cornwall and France. After enjoying time teaching in London and Holland and marrying into a family spread from Ireland to the Channel Islands and America, it is no surprise that along with husband Julian they trekked around the world when three of their five children were small. Christina now runs the family company and writes and helps with the Travelsmith web and social media sites. Email: