After a wild and adventurous early life full of travels and animal encounters, Gerald Durrell opened Jersey Zoo in 1959 much to the bafflement of the British zoo establishment. There was something curious about this peculiar park that focused on breeding threatened species for conservation. That was Gerald’s vision though and, over 60 years later, the Zoo and the Durrell Conservation Trust’s work continues to lead the way in protecting endangered species from around the world. As Sir David Attenborough said on the occasion of Durrell’s 50th anniversary, “I do assure you, the world needs Durrell.”
A precious new arrival in 2022.
Sir David Attenborough travelled to Jersey Zoo to film Attenborough’s Ark. In this BBC Natural World Special, he names the black lion tamarin as one of the top 10 species he would most like to see saved from extinction. We’re sure Sir David will have been delighted to hear the news that the family of endangered black lion tamarins at Jersey Zoo welcomed a tiny new member in March 2022. A significant achievement for the Jersey Zoo team, the birth is the first of its kind outside of Brazil in over eight years.
Five unique experiences to discover at the Jersey Zoo on your wild island adventure.
1. Encounter some of the world’s most endangered creatures.
Home to over 1,400 mammals and some of the world’s most endangered animal species, Jersey Zoo offers sanctuary – and in some cases a genuine life-line – to some of the world’s most threatened animals. Some are so endangered that the chances are you wouldn’t even see them in their indigenous habitat. Under the legacy of Gerald Durrell, the Zoo and the Durrell Conservation Trust are working to change that… come and see how!
2. See the animals running ‘wild’.
Look up into the massive trees and discover the secrets of the park and you might be amazed to see free-ranging tamarin monkeys behaving just as they would in their native South American rainforest homes. What you won’t find is cramped cages, concrete and animals kept on display for public entertainment; this was, after all, a place created by Gerald Durrell with the welfare and survival of endangered animals as the foremost priority. Over 60 years later, this remains the core ethos underpinning Durrell.
3. Go behind the scenes with the people who care for the animals.
Unleash your inner rebel and see into the secret life of Durrell Wildlife Park. Go behind the scenes, roll up your sleeves and pitch in alongside Durrell zoo keepers. These experiences give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of Durrell’s animals up close and personal, like never before! You’ll leave with a smile on your face and a whole new appreciation of your chosen animal, and a memory that will last a lifetime.
4. Glamp under the stars.
Fancy waking up to the sound of lemurs and orangutans just yards from your tent? Nestled in the heart of Jersey Zoo amongst stunning wetland valleys, open greens and mature woodland, glamp under the stars. Reconnect with family and friends in this unique five-star experience, complete with a small camp-stove, to keep you warm and toasty.
5. Adopt an animal.
When the time comes for you to leave, return home with a freshness in your heart and adopt one of Durrell’s animals. Whether it’s Badongo, the western lowland gorilla, Kea the Sumatran orangutan or an elegant Chilean flamingo, make a Jersey Zoo animal part of your family today – for you to cherish as a memory of your Jersey holiday.