Twycross Zoo scoops top awards

Twycross Zoo was congratulated by the zoo community last Wednesday June 10, 2015, following a nationally respected awards ceremony held at Woburn Safari Park. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) awards recognise outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of wildlife conservation, advances in animal welfare and husbandry, marketing, PR, education, research, and enclosure design. Twycross Zoo received two silver awards and one bronze, in recognition for its innovative work and dedication to the welfare of the animals in their care.

Sharon Redrobe, CEO at Twycross Zoo says, “It is an honour to be recognised at the BIAZA Awards. I am thrilled for all the staff, who are passionate and totally committed to the welfare of our incredible animals at Twycross Zoo, many of which are endangered in the wild.”

In 2013, the zoo replaced the former Tropical House with a magnificent butterfly forest. Now visitors can walk through a colourful world surrounded by exotic butterflies and plants. Recognised by the BIAZA Awards with a bronze, the Horticulture and Animal Staff worked closely together to ensure the forest provided the required ecosystem for the plants and insects. The delicate balance of existence between plant and butterfly is continually maintained by Twycross Zoo’s expert and now award-winning Horticulture team.

With ape heart disease a priority research area in zoos across the world, BIAZA recognised Twycross Zoo’s revolutionary work with a silver award at last Wednesday’s ceremony. Last year, as part of an international research project into ape heart disease, veterinarians at Twycross Zoo were part of a ground-breaking procedure when they recorded an electrocardiogram (ECG) trace in a chimpanzee, using specialised probes, without the need for general anaesthesia. The feat was achieved by training the chimpanzee to remain still long enough to allow an ECG trace to be recorded.

The second silver of the night for Twycross Zoo was presented in recognition for their animal welfare audit, which was completed in 2014. The system, developed at Twycross Zoo, allows the Life Sciences team to assess and monitor the welfare of all species resident at the zoo. This award particularly highlights the Zoo’s efforts to maintain high levels of animal welfare, as well as pioneering new ideas that will benefit animals in zoos across the UK. The audit will have a continued presence at the zoo, testament to the staff’s absolute dedication to the long-term well-being of their animals.

Dr Kirsten Pullen, CEO of BIAZA said, “The BIAZA awards highlight the vital work carried out in zoos and aquariums. All of this year’s award-winning projects show the exceptional contributions our members are making to wildlife conservation, animal husbandry and welfare, and public understanding for species both in the UK and overseas. We congratulate all the winners.”

Last updated September 2015