An update from Chief Curator, Malcolm Fitzpatrick
Just a few weeks ago we excitedly informed you all of our plans to move our three lionesses to Zoo Schwerin in Germany – where a brand-new home for Asiatic lions has been built.
Well, today (22 December) was supposed to be moving day, but like many things this year, our plans have had to change at short notice due to factors far beyond our control.
We use professional animal transporters to help us move our precious cargo, and along with shiny new travel crates that were purchased thanks to support from our corporate partners Liontrust, we had everything in place ready to go. The animal transporter was due to arrive the evening before, to be there ready for the lionesses to depart.
However, the animal transporter – based outside of the UK – was unable to enter the country, due to the ports being closed. With little clarity on when that will change, for both imports and exports, and with the wellbeing of our lionesses our number one priority, we’ve made the decision to hold off on moving them until we can be sure that their journey will be a straightforward one.
We’ll be working closely with the Asiatic lion conservation breeding programme coordinator, Zoo Schwerin and all of the other organisations involved in these logistically complex moves in the New Year to work up our new plans to ensure they happen in 2021.
We had hoped to complete these transfers as soon as the new exhibit at Zoo Schwerin was ready and before the Brexit transition period ends, as we anticipate that further animal move legislation will come into effect on January 1, but we’ve got every intention of the moves still going ahead. They’re an important step for the conservation breeding programme of this Critically Endangered species. In the meantime, our keepers have now got to get busy in the kitchen – they’ve got three extra Christmas dinners to prepare...!
Despite being closed to the public, our teams are still working tirelessly to care for our animals. Please give what you can, we need your support now more than ever before.
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.