Tiger Day’s team earns its stripes
A zoo has scooped a top prize for its tiger conservation work.
The success of Shepreth Wildlife Park’s ‘Tiger Day’ was recognised at a ceremony hosted by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
The park won in the best marketing project category for the annual event, which has raised more than £10,000 for charity in seven years.
Tiger Day celebrates the birthday of Amba, one of the zoo’s resident tigers, and this year featured a special “tiger cake” plus a visit from Cambridge United defender and “Amber Army” star Anthony Tonkin.
But it also features talks from wildlife experts about the plight of the tiger in the wild and displays on how the funds raised will be spent by the 21st Century Tiger charity.
Judges said the event demonstrated how zoos could be a powerful force for conservation and tackle issues such as species extinction.
Rebecca Willers, animal manager at the park, is working in Indonesia to save tigers in their natural habitat.
She told the News she was delighted with the recognition for Tiger Days.
She said: “Educating our visitors is something we take very seriously at the wildlife park, so with our Tiger Day becoming such a popular event in the August calendar, I am naturally very pleased all the hard work from the staff and volunteers.
“Also, the generous help we receive from outside companies, has been recognised by such a prestigious award.
“Tigers are facing a losing battle in the wild, as I am currently witnessing first hand.
“As long as we can keep raising the funds and public awareness in the UK, in order to support the important work being carried our in the field, only then may they stand a chance at long-term survival.”
Shepreth Wildlife Park was also commended for its ‘log pile’ education programme, created by education officer Lainie Bazzoni.
Dr Miranda Stevenson, director of BIAZA, said: “These awards recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that our members are making to conservation, environmental education and raising public awareness."