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International accolade for Twycross Zoo animal registrar

Twycross Zoo is delighted to announce that Zak Showell, Animal Records Registrar, has been designated an ‘Expert Advocate’ for the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), a global animal management database.

Showell is one of only two individuals worldwide to receive this brand new international commendation from US-based Species 360.

Showell maintains detailed records for over 1,900 animals at Twycross Zoo, from tiny leaf-cutter ants to the world’s tallest animal, giraffes. The records are kept on ZIMS, a special database that supports a wide range of animal management and conservation activities at zoos and aquariums around the world. This international database holds information on more than 7million animals and over 21,000 species worldwide. The data is shared among zoos around the world, providing important and useful information for the conservation of endangered species, such as animal husbandry, health and breeding.

Showell’s designation as an Expert Advocate recognises his exemplary work as a ZIMS ambassador, as well as the training he has given to new and novice users of the database from others zoos in the UK, including London Zoo and Curraghs Wildlife Park.

Showell said of his award: “I am thrilled to receive this recognition. Accurate records are an important aspect of modern zoo keeping, as they can help keepers provide the very best care for the animals. I’ve really enjoyed meeting colleagues from other zoos and sharing my experience and knowledge about record keeping. Being named an Expert Advocate is the icing on the cake!”

The registrar for Disney's Animal Kingdom in the USA, Lynn McDuffie, is the second individual named this year as a ZIMS Expert Advocate.

Earlier this year in June, BIAZA, the professional association representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland, awarded Twycross Zoo a silver BIAZA Award for its effective use of the data management system.