25 February 2021

Rupert Hambro, who died on Friday 19 February 2021, is remembered for his significant contribution and personal commitment to supporting ZSL’s vision for a world where wildlife thrives. 

Mr Hambro joined as Chairman of ZSL’s Development Strategy Board in 2011, working closely with ZSL’s Fundraising team to generate essential income and develop vital partnerships.

Throughout his decade as Chairman, Rupert underpinned the launch of ZSL’s annual fundraising Gala, Safari in the City, which drives hundreds of thousands of pounds of support for our international work each year.  His legacy is evident in the grounds of London Zoo as he engaged people, trusts and businesses to support our work, ensuring that millions of people each year can experience joyful encounters with wildlife at our Zoos. 

We are especially grateful for Rupert’s innately personal approach to his support, appealing to friends and strangers alike to donate to our campaigns.  We celebrated his 70th birthday at London Zoo, where he raised awareness of our global work during this personal milestone. Over the last decade Rupert so generously committed much of his time to support us despite periods of ill health, which we often only became aware of much later in time. 

Rupert stepped down as Chairman of our Development Strategy Board last year.  Despite increasingly poor health he continued to campaign tirelessly for ZSL during the pandemic as our primary source of income, from visitors to our Zoos, was shut off.  In recognition of his significant contributions to furthering our work, ZSL’s Council of Trustees awarded Rupert our highest honour, an Honorary Fellowship, appointing him to this position in late 2020. 

Our deepest sympathies are with Rupert’s family.  He will be warmly remembered by all of us at ZSL, with his Honorary Fellowship recognising his significant contribution to conservation and science. 

James Wren 
Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Engagement

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