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Durrell Wildlife Park to change its name to 'Jersey Zoo'

Credit: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Durrell Wildlife Park has announced it is changing its name back to Jersey Zoo.

From April, the park will revert back to its original title in an effort to make it "more visible to visitors".

Staff at the park say they recently carried out a survey of tourists which revealed that many were not aware the attraction was on the island.

Dr Leslie Dickie, CEO of Durrell, explains "zoo is a universally recognised word whereas wildlife park means different things in different languages”.

Ten years ago, the site changed its name to Durrell Wildlife Park in order to avoid the "perceived negative connotations" of the word 'zoo'.

But those at the park say the progress of modern zoos in conservation has meant the word no longer has to be avoided.

Zoos are now the fourth largest funders of conservation in the world and we are pleased to make a significant contribution. We are also proud that Jersey is our home and this name change re-affirms that.

– Dr Leslie Dicke, CEO of Durrell
Jersey Zoo was the original name of the park when it first opened

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a zoo is "an establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public".

Lee Durrell, Honorary Director of the park, is in support of the change which she says "reinforces what Gerald Durrell had been working towards all his life".

Gerald Durrell founded Jersey Zoo in 1959.

Ten years ago, we made a conscious decision to avoid the word ‘zoo’, because of its perceived negative connotations.

Today we embrace it, because modern zoos have made great progress in the service of conservation, both in the zoo setting and in the wild, through innovative research, professional training,inspirational public education and improvements in animal wellbeing.

Gerry and his early team had pioneered much of this, and Durrell will continue its ground-breaking work through Jersey Zoo”.

– Lee Durrell, Honorary Director of Durrell Wildlife Park