Zoos take on Westminster

ZOOS will be setting up camp in the Palace of Westminster this week for the first ever zoo and aquarium exhibition. Today (January 8), the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) will be launching an exhibition to raise awareness of the value of good zoos.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Zoos and Aquariums in Conservation and Education’ will highlight some of the conservation and education work carried out by BIAZA’s members both in the UK and abroad.
Miranda Stevenson, Executive Director of BIAZA, said: “We were delighted when the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Zoo and Aquarium Group, Andrew Rosindell, MP told us that the application for the exhibition space had been successful. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the vital conservation and education work that our member zoos and aquariums carry out and how important they are to the national and regional economy of the UK.
“It is also the perfect platform to reach an audience who may not be aware of how zoos have evolved and how they are leading the way in conservation, research and education. BIAZA zoos receive more than 24 million visitors, contributing more than £14 million a year to field conservation and about £658 million to the economy.
“We know time is always tight for those working at Westminster, but we do hope they take the time to stop and speak to us on their way into meetings.”
The exhibition includes examples of projects from eight BIAZA member zoos, as well as some of its partner organizations. For example, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park’s conservation work in Tanzania to protect three of Africa’s rarest frogs and Chester Zoo’s Assam Haathi Project in India created to help mitigate human-elephant conflict through education.
It will be held in the Upper Waiting Hall exhibition space from Tuesday, January 8 to Thursday, January 10.
Andrew Rosindell, MP, added: “It is excellent that the Upper Waiting Hall in the Palace of Westminster will play host to this exciting exhibition of wildlife conservation for the next week. We are very fortunate to have been successful in our ballot and I hope that Members of both houses will take the opportunity to learn a little more about this fascinating subject, from reading the range of informative posters to utilising the knowledge of various zoo professionals who will be on hand throughout the week.”
Representatives from BIAZA, ZSL London Zoo, Chester Zoo, the National Marine Aquarium, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Paradise Wildlife Park will be manning the exhibition throughout the week to answer any questions.