Last modified: 29 April 2024

ZSL Privacy Policy


We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity, and our vision is a world where wildlife thrives. We’re working every day to achieve this, through our science, our field conservation around the world and engaging millions of people through our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Our registered charity number is 208728.


1. What this privacy policy covers

ZSL is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with our obligations under data protection legislation. Current data protection law is found in the General Data Protection Regulation (as supplemented by the Data Protection Act 2018) and related law such as The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

This privacy policy explains what information ZSL collects about you and how it will be used. 

ZSL promises to respect any personal data you share with us, or that we get from other organisations and keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your data and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect.

If you have any queries regarding this privacy policy please contact the Data Protection Lead, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London or email 


2. Where and how we collect your information

We collect information in the following ways.

Information you give us

For example, when you make a purchase with us for Zoo tickets or animal experiences, give a donation or register for an event we will ask you for your personal information in order to for us to process your purchase or donation or help arrange your event. This information includes contact information and payment information.


You may also choose to give us information via surveys, including demographic data such as age, ethnicity and gender. All survey data is anonymised.

Information collected automatically through our websites

In this privacy policy, where we talk about websites we are referring to websites owned by ZSL, including, but not limited to:

Information Automatically Collected In London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo Mobile Apps

When you use the App, we automatically collect specific data that are required for the use of the App. This data includes:

  • Location, accuracy and date/time periodically throughout the day (only while at the attraction)
  • Each visit to the resort including date/time first seen and last seen
  • Operating system
  • Operating system version
  • Device name
  • Battery level
  • Battery status (charging or not)
  • Bluetooth status (on or off)
  • Mobile network carrier name
  • Currently connected Wi-Fi SSID
  • Location permission status (on or off)
  • IP address
  • User's preferred locale
  • Current time zone
  • App version and build number
  • App interactions (captured as events fed to Firebase Analytics)
  • Date/time entered/exited geofence region (if you enter an offered geofence region)

This data is automatically sent to us, (1) so that we can make the service and the associated functions available to you; (2) to improve the functions and features of the App and (3) to prevent misuse and to rectify malfunctions and (4) to offer you a personalized guest experience. This data processing is justified on the basis that (1) the processing is required in order to fulfil the requirements of the contract between you as the data subject and us in accordance with Art. 6(1)(b) GDPR for the use of the App, or (2) we have a legitimate interest in guaranteeing the functionality and fault-free operation of the App and being able to offer a service that is in line with the requirements of the market and with the interests of the users and prevails over your rights and interests in the protection of your personal data in accordance with Art. 6(1)(f) GDPR

Information Automatically Collected In the Instant Wild App

When you use the App, we collect specific data required to create an account. This data includes:

  • Email
  • Display name


We use ‘cookies’ to enhance your experience on our website. Cookies mean that the ZSL website will remember you for a particular purpose and for a particular length of time. To see our cookies policy, please click here.

When you’re accessing our website and apps, your device may provide us with information about the device you’re using, this could include the type of device, what operating system you’re using and may report any details of a website or app crash. Your device manufacturer or operating system provider will be able to provide you with more details about the information your device makes available to us.

Google Analytics and Google Signals

We use Google Analytics and Google Signals to help us understand how visitors are using and engaging with our website and apps. This allows us to make improvements to our web services and your online experience.

Google Signals works if you are signed in to your Google account across devices and you have ‘Ads Personalisation’ switched on in your Google settings.

The Google Analytics tracking tool uses a number of cookies to collect information and report website usage statistics and does so without personally identifying individual visitors to Google or ZSL.

The information generated by the cookie about your use of ZSL’s website and apps will be transmitted and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

For more information about Google’s privacy policy in regards to Google Analytics, please see

In addition to reporting website usage statistics, we use Google Analytics in conjunction with additional advertising cookies. We use these cookies to select advertising based on what’s relevant to you, to measure interactions with the ads we display and to improve reporting on campaign performance.

The additional advertising cookies we use include:

  • Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Optimize
  • DV360
  • Other integrated services 

ZSL will not merge personally-identifiable information with anonymous information gathered from these analytics systems unless there is prior notice and affirmative consent via opt-in from the user. When using any of these tracking tools ZSL does not identify users or facilitate the merging of personally identifiable information with non-personally identifiable information collected.

If you wish to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking please visit and install the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on here:

If you wish to opt-out of Google Signals, you will need to sign out of Google on your devices and / or turn off Ads Personalisation in your Google settings. See for more details.


The ZSL Instant Wild App and Website uses a third party called Disqus to provide its comments section. When registering for an Instant Wild account a Disqus Account will also be automatically created on your behalf using the same information as supplied in the Instant Wild registration form (username and email address) – please see the Disqus Terms and Privacy Policy for more information on what they collect.

In addition to the above ZSL uses other third-party tracking tools to collect non-personal information about consumers and their online behaviour for advertising purposes. This data is used to inform ZSL about the audiences who are most likely to be interested in our products and services so that we can deliver more relevant and targeted advertising.   

ZSL also uses other third-party tracking tools to inform ZSL about how visitors use our websites and apps so that we can improve the user experience across our digital platforms. For more information on our use of cookies, please read our cookie policy.

Information we get from other organisations when you give them permission to share your details, or your information is available publicly.
Your personal data may be shared with us by third parties in certain circumstances. This may include (but is not limited to) individuals who may purchase gift membership on your behalf, ticket agencies that may sell tickets to access our zoos, experiences, etc., schools or other institutions who work with us or receive our services.  In some limited cases, third parties may also act on our behalf to provide you with a service. Where appropriate you should check any Privacy Policy of any third party when you provide your personal data to them in order to understand fully how they will process your personal data. Please note that we currently sell tickets using SEE Tickets and you can view their privacy policy here.

For more details on how we handle your data in our History Hive, please see our dedicated section (8) on this below 


3. What information do we collect and how do we use it?

The type of personal information we will collect about you will depend on the purpose of collecting the information.


3.1 Supporters

If you support us by visiting our Zoos, joining the Society by becoming a member, patron or fellow, purchasing tickets or something else online, making a donation or registering for an event we will collect the following information about you

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Postcode 
  • Your bank and credit card details
  • Date of birth (if applicable)
  • Photo (only applicable to Members, Patrons, and Fellows and used for the photo on your ZSL card)

In addition to the above, when you submit a form on our website we may collect and store your internet protocol (IP) address. This includes when you submit a form to partake in a prize draw, promotion, event, competition or complete a survey. We collect this information to track submissions on the form to manage and administer our services. We will only keep this information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. At the end of that retention period, your data will either be deleted completely or anonymised. 

In some circumstances we may also collect sensitive information including information relating to your health. However, we would only request this information where this is required and relevant to the reason why we are processing your data such as if you are registering to take part in a high risk challenge event.

When you provide us with your personal data we will use this for the following reasons.

  • Provide you with the products or services you have requested- such as sending you your Zoo tickets or registering you for an event
  • Process your donation and any associated Gift Aid claim
  • Keep a record of your relationship and communication preferences with us
  • To enable us to deliver more relevant content to you, through targeted communications
  • Anonymised data such as postcodes may be aggregated and analysed to inform and improve our business planning and promotional activity. 
  • Survey responses may be used to inform business decisions and for diversity and inclusion monitoring. All survey data is anonymised.


3.2 Direct marketing

Email/text marketing

We will only contact you by email or text message for marketing purposes if you actively consent to this, unless we believe there is a legitimate interest to contact you. By consenting to ZSL emails or opting in to email communications, you grant us permission to use your email address to send you email marketing communication. At any stage you may choose to opt out of such communications – more information on opting out is here. Please note that, even if opted out from marketing, we may still need to send you service communications from time to time.

Post/telephone marketing

If you have provided us with your postal address or telephone number we may contact you by post or telephone about our work, unless you have told us that you don’t want to receive this. Before making such calls we will always screen against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or, where sending letters, we will always screen against the Mail Preference Service. 

Where you are registered with the TPS we will only make calls to you if you have specifically consented to receiving calls from ZSL or if we need to contact you in reference to a purchase, for example if there has been a problem in processing a payment. Likewise if you are registered with the Mail Preference Service we will only write to you if you have specifically consented to receiving letters from ZSL. For some kinds of communications legitimate interests may be the appropriate legal basis but we would assess this by way of a legitimate interests assessment beforehand.


3.3 Third parties

ZSL will not sell your data. We will not share your data for marketing purposes unless you have actively consented to this. However, in some circumstances we may need to share your details with a third party for processing. This could be if we run an event in partnership with another organisation and they need your details in order to fulfil your tickets or experience. For example, if you are taking part in a running event with us, we may need to share your details to be able to send your race pack to you. We may also use a third party to process your personal details if we need to send your data to a mailing house in order to fulfil a postal mailing to you, this could include sending you a letter about your membership. We currently use DotDigital to send out emails to our Supporters, with DotDigital the main email marketing system: please note that your personal data will be treated in accordance with this privacy policy as well as that of DotDigital which can be found here.

We also use web behaviour tracking on ZSL’s websites in Dotdigital if you opt into the relevant cookies. This allows us to see your activity on our website after you’ve clicked through from an email campaign. Your browsing activity is captured, stored and can be used for segmenting data to deliver relevant email campaigns to you.

We work with a number of specialist agencies to deliver our digital and communications activity. This includes:

  • TPXimpact Ltd, helping to maintain our websites. We don't actively share ZSL data with them for this purpose nor do they process it during these tasks, but they may need to access areas of the platform where data is stored.
  • The Kite Factory Ltd and TPXimpact Ltd use web behaviour tracking on ZSL’s websites if you opt into the relevant cookies. Your browsing activity is captured, stored and can be used to report business information to ZSL (including anonymised sales reporting), or to deliver relevant marketing messages to you.

If you purchase Zoo admission or an experience through a third party, they may share your personal details with us for the purpose of fulfilling the admission or experience. Your details will not be used for marketing purposes unless you have given consent for us to do so. We currently sell tickets using SEE Tickets and you can view thier privacy policy here.

At both London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo we have an arrangement with an external company (Magic Memories) which provides optional photographic services to visitors. Please note that ZSL does not have any access to either the photos or any personal data visitors may provide if they choose to purchase the photos. Magic Memories process personal data in accordance with their own privacy policy. If you have any queries in relation to their processing of personal data, please direct them to Magic Memories in the first instance

Some third parties provide ‘lookalike audiences’ or similar functions where they use data you have already provided to them directly to help create a ‘lookalike audiences’ for us (i.e. to help us better understand what a typical ZSL supporter is like). That third party then may serve advertising to that lookalike audience. In order to create a lookalike audience, ZSL may need to share some of your personal data with the third party. We consider that we are able to do this under ‘legitimate interests’. If we intend to use your data in this way then:

we will only share the minimum possible data in order for the third party to identify whether or not you have already shared your personal data with them – if you have then they will use that information (that you have shared with them) to create the lookalike audience rather than the other information you have shared with ZSL; 
we will only engage with the third party if we are satisfied that your data will be held in accordance with Data Protection law, including being held securely by them, and being securely deleted by them as soon as possible after it has been used for this purpose; and 
we will only use your personal data in this way if you have opted in to receive marketing messages from ZSL. 
Please note that we will never have access to the personal data you have provided to any such third party. Please also note that the use of your personal data by that third party is covered by their privacy policy and terms of use and not by that of ZSL.

3.4 Fundraising

ZSL is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity, we rely on voluntary income to carry out our mission to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. 

This vital work is supported by individuals, trusts and foundations and companies who we work with and fundraise from. 

We aim to target our fundraising activities to ensure that we contact you appropriately.  We may use simple research methods to profile supporters and to identify shared interests and connections. We may work with trusted third-party partners such as database screening companies to provide us with further information about our supporters.  All information is obtained from publicly available sources or data that you have given to us. 

We use this information to understand who our supporters are and what they may be best interested in. This information aids us in making appropriate fundraising approaches to those who will be most interested and most able to support ZSL. 

You can opt out of your data being used in this way by emailing

In addition, we are also registered with the Fundraising Regulator and use the Fundraising Preference Service, a service which allows people to opt out of fundraising communications from charities. We receive regular updates from the Fundraising Preference Service so if you opt out that way, we will remove you from our email, phone, text, and postal communications.


3.5 Enhancing your supporter experience

We may use profiling and screening techniques to ensure that the communications we send you are relevant to you. This allows us to provide an improved experience for our supporters.

When building a profile of our supporters we may analyse geographic and demographic information, as well as your online behaviour and purchase history, to better understand your interests so we can contact you with relevant messages. An example of this would be looking at your location so we can share information about relevant events in your area. 

You can opt out of your data being used in this way by emailing 


3.6 Your choice

You always have a choice as to whether and how you want to receive communications about our work, products and services and ways you can get involved. If you do not want us to use your contact details to contact you in the future you can opt out of this when we collect your details or at a later time. 

If you ever want to change your contact preferences, or opt out of communications, you can do this by emailing 

Alternatively, you can:

  • opt out of our email marketing at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email from us; and
  • opt out of text marketing by replying to the text with the message ‘STOP’

If you choose not to be contacted by us we will never send you personalised marketing communications, but we will keep your details on a ‘suppression list’ to ensure you aren’t contacted.


3.7 Legal basis for processing your personal data

In some circumstances we will collect and process your personal information using the legitimate interest legal processing basis. 

Sometimes, we will need to process your data as it is part of a contract which you have entered into. For instance, if you have booked an event or animal experience with us, then we will need to contact you and take payment to enable us to provide the relevant services under the agreement with you and to email you your ticket.

However in most circumstances, we will rely on your consent when using your personal data. An example of this would be when we request your consent to receive marketing emails from ZSL.


3.8 Retention

We hold your information for only as long as necessary for the purpose needed. ‘For only as long as necessary’ varies according to the nature of the information. For example, if you have declared gift aid, HMRC require us to store your name and address for seven years. Further details are contained in our retention policy, a copy of which is available on request by email to


3.9 Under 18s

On some occasions we may collect and manage data of under 18’s. We will always aim to manage this data in a way which is appropriate to the age of the child and will only keep this data for the purpose in which it was collected. Children’s data is usually only collected if you hold a ZSL membership or a child takes part in one of our experiences. 

We will always try to seek consent from the parent or guardian of the child before collecting and processing this information. 


3.10 Job and volunteering application data

If you apply to work or volunteer at ZSL, we will use the information you supply to us to process your application and to monitor recruitment statistics. 

If you are unsuccessful in your application we will keep your personal information for 12 months. If you request to join our talent pool to find out about future opportunities we will keep your information for this purpose only for 12 months. 


3.11 Image rights

When you’re on site in the Zoo your photograph may be taken. We will always ask for consent to photograph or video children 

If you consent to having your photo taken and used for marketing or PR purposes we will hold your name, image and age (if applicable) on file for future re-use.


3.12 Vulnerable supporters

We are committed to supporting our vulnerable supporters and will do all we can to assist our supporters in making an informed decision about the support they wish to give to ZSL. We follow the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Practice and follow guidance provided by the Direct Marketing Association when speaking to supporters on the phone.


3.13 Incoming customer services

We may record incoming customer services calls for staff training and quality purposes. This will allow us to improve customer service by linking previous customer calls by giving historical background to any enquiries. We will retain these calls in line with our retention policy (available on request by email to

4. How do we keep your personal information secure?

We always ensure that we have the necessary controls in place to protect the personal data you provide us with. 

We carry out regular audits of who has access to data so that we can ensure that your information is only accessed by trained staff. 


4.1 Your credit and debit card information

ZSL makes every effort to maintain customer confidentiality when securing an online payment.  This includes ensuring the security of your credit card details and other personal information. We don’t store your card details on any ZSL system.  All of your personal information is encrypted as it travels over the internet. When you make a booking, you enter a secure internet site (indicated by the letters https:// in the address bar and or a padlock displayed in your web browser). When you make a payment you enter your card details directly into our payment provider’s secure web page. To protect you against credit card fraud (where someone has discovered your credit card details but do not have your card), you will be asked to enter the unique security code printed on the back of your payment card.

Creating a new Direct Debit mandate online requires your name, address, email address, and details of your bank account. This information is used to set up a regular Direct Debit payment with your bank and is retained by us securely in order to claim monthly or annual payments from your account as per your instructions. All transactions are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.


4.2 Third parties

Sometimes we use external companies to collect or process your personal data on behalf of ZSL. We carry out thorough checks on any companies we work with and have a contract in place with each of these companies to ensure that they process your information in line with our expectations. 

Some of our suppliers may run their operations outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Although they may not be subject to same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will take steps to make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA.

If requested we may need to supply your information to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors. 

We will not share your data with any other third parties unless you have given your explicit consent for us to do so. 


5. Your right to your personal information

Under the General Data Protection Regulation / Data Protection Act 2018 you have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you. You also have the right to request that we erase any personal information we hold, where ZSL has no compelling reason to continue processing this data. 

If you wish to request this information please contact or call 0344 225 1826. We will then send you a form which you will need to complete and send back to us by post. We will also require you to provide two forms of identification. Once we have received your information request and your identification we will respond within one month. 


6. Updates to this privacy policy

We may make changes to this Privacy policy. If we do make any significant changes to the way we collect and process your personal information we will make this clear on the ZSL website, or by contacting you directly. 


7. Raising Queries or Concerns

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about data protection at ZSL please contact our Data Protection team on If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from us for any reason then you may wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office via 


8. History Hive

Marking the countdown to our bicentenary in 2026, we're asking people to share memories, photographs, footage and historic objects connected to ZSL to help bring our history to life. We’ve spent almost two centuries bringing people and wildlife closer together. In 2026 we’ll celebrate our greatest achievement – our connection with you, which has allowed us to make such a difference to wildlife conservation.

8.1 Form submission data

To share a submission with ZSL we first ask you to complete an online form. This will involve collecting your name, email address, your submission type and details about what you are submitting.

When you have shared your submission through the form, we will review it and if we would like to use it for the history hive, we will then contact you and ask you to complete a formal consent form.

The data we collect through the form may be held until the history hive project (expected to be in 2027). This is so we can contact you if we need to return something, or if we have any further questions. Once the history hive project is complete we will delete your personal data.

8.2 Newsletter opt-in data

When completing the History Hive form, you have the option to receive our email newsletter. If you have opted in to receive our newsletter, your data will be retained in line with our standard data retention policy. Further details are contained in our retention policy, a copy of which is available on request by email to You can change your contact preferences at any time if you no longer wish to receive marketing emails from us. More details are available in section 3.6 “Your Choices” on this page.