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'Durrell is a zoo – a major one'

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AFTER years of being rebranded as 'wildlife park', or simply 'Durrell', or anything other than what we locals want to call it, Jersey's iconic animal conservation charity is now ... a zoo, and nothing but a zoo.

That is the conclusion of the new chief executive officer, Dr Lesley Dickie, who has spent her whole career working in zoos and who believes that Islanders should be proud to have one in Jersey.

'A well-run, modern zoo does conservation work and we should be proud – I am proud of it,' she said. 'Zoo is a good word, and visitors to the Island – people from Germany and France – look for that word. In Germany, a wildlife park means wild deer and boar. We carried out a survey recently of people leaving the Airport and many did not know that Durrell exists. That cannot be good.

'During my first week here, I was chatting to some visitors and they said they loved coming to the zoo, but then apologised for calling it a zoo. I thought, this is silly – these are our supporters, they have come to have a great day out and this is the word they want to use.'

Read the full interview in The Business in Wednesday's JEP.

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