Director of London Zoo leaves to head up Bristol Zoo and the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society
Wednesday 20 June 2001
Dr Jo Gipps, Director of London Zoo, is leaving the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to start a new job as the Director of Bristol Zoo and the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society, having been at London Zoo for the last 13 years.
Dr Gipps joined London Zoo in 1988 as Curator of Mammals and then moved on to become Senior Curator during the turbulent times when the Zoo was facing closure.
In 1993 he was promoted to Director and has gone on to implement and redevelop significant areas of the Zoo, including most recently the £4.4 million Web of Life Exhibit, housed in the Millennium Conservation Centre. He has been instrumental in making London Zoo the success it is today.
"I am truly sorry to be leaving London Zoo and the Zoological Society of London. Being Director of London Zoo has been the best job of my life; but the opportunity of becoming the Chief Executive of Bristol Zoo presents me with new challenges," comments Dr Gipps. "I have really enjoyed working with the team of dedicated staff here at London Zoo and together we worked hard to place London Zoo at the forefront of animal conservation and education, whilst offering an exciting day out for our visitors."
Dr Michael Dixon, Director General of ZSL commented, "We will all be sorry to see Jo Gipps leave ZSL; his contribution extends way beyond what has been achieved at London Zoo. He has been a popular and charismatic spokesperson for our zoo-based activities. We appreciate all that he has achieved through his enthusiasm and commitment over the last thirteen years."
Recently Dr Gipps has been part of the directorial team that has restructured the management of ZSL. The restructure recognises that ZSL has three major activities – zoos, research and field conservation – each of which are overlapping components of ZSL’s contribution to animal conservation. In the new organisational structure there will be a director for each of these activities, as well as the new post of Commercial Director. The new focus will ensure that the many skills of the staff of ZSL are applied across the organisation as a whole.
"London Zoo is one of the world’s high profile zoos," continues Dr Michael Dixon, "but in terms of ZSL it is only a part of what we achieve in world wide conservation. ZSL’s wild animal park, Whipsnade, has a complementary animal collection and our research activities and field projects are equally important and growing areas."
ZSL will commence recruitment immediately for the role of Director of Zoos.
- For further information please contact the Zoological Society of London's PR office*:
Debbie Curtis 020 7449 6363
Peter Beatty 020 7449 6361
Heather Hovey: 0117 970 6176 ext 210
Notes to Editors
- In January 2000 Dr Jo Gipps was awarded an OBE.
- London Zoo is part of the Zoological Society of London which is a registered charity.
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