The restoration of the tropical bird house has been made possible through the support of the Blackburn family, after whom the new exhibit has been named.
The Blackburn family has a long association with ZSL London Zoo. David Blackburn OBE, Sir Stamford Raffles Patron of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and son of Lt Col Cyril Blackburn ADC ERD, a ZSL Fellow, was instrumental to the Zoo’s continued survival when it was faced with closure in 1992. His generous donation, and work on the Zoo Board, played an important part in saving our historic Zoo.
The Blackburn family stepped in to offer financial support for the renovation of the tropical birdhouse when the effects of the terrorist bombs in 2005 on the capital’s tourist industry meant funds earmarked by ZSL for capital development needed to be redirected.
Mr Blackburn guaranteed to underwrite the costs of renovating the tropical birdhouse, so that the project, vital to attracting new visitors to the zoo and to conserving and updating a piece of ZSL London Zoo’s heritage, could still go ahead. The Blackburn Pavilion will represent a legacy here for the family, continuing their long-term commitment to ZSL London Zoo.