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Conservation at Drusillas

Wildlife conservation sits at the heart of our zoo and we are passionate about making a difference

The Future is in Our Hands

We envision a world where zoos play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable and harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. 

We have the expertise to reverse negative species trends and give back to wildlife in a manner that is not only unique, but essential for the conservation of our planet. With an integrated and transparent approach, zoos can contribute significantly to the planet’s restoration so wildlife can thrive in their natural habitats.

Our Vision

A world where wildlife thrives and nature is preserved 

Our Mission

To use our position of influence for meaningful change with outcomes that contribute to species survival and habitat restoration

We are members of BIAZA (The British Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and EAZA (The European Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Our keepers and our management team work to high ethical standards to ensure Drusillas remains one of the best zoos in the country both for visitors and for our animals.

Conservation Charity Of The Year

Drusillas has proudly supported The Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo) since 2020 and they remain as our key conservation partner to this day. We have raised over £17,000 so far towards SloCo's conservation projects.

Sloth populations are in decline throughout South and Central America and they face a very real threat of extinction. SloCo aims to protect sloths in the wild through research and conservation initiatives. They have developed a range of community-based strategies and programs that provide sustainable ways in which humans and sloths can coexist peacefully.

Here's what Drusillas is doing to support SloCo's vital work and how you can help:

  • Raising money via regular dedicated fundraisers
  • Collecting donations in various collection stations around the Park
  • Raising awareness with regular social campaigns 
  • Educating our visitors with onsite information near our sloth habitats
  • Educating future generations about the plight of sloths in our school group sessions
  • Donating £1 to SloCo from every sloth adoption purchased 
  • Conservation outreach in Costa Rica

After years working remotely with the SloCo team, Drusillas recently furthered their support by way of conservation outreach - an opportunity to see first-hand the threats facing sloths in the wild, to contribute to vital field reserach, and gain real insight into how we can better support SloCo here in the UK. Read about our trip to Costa Rica below.

Breeding Programmes

Many of the animals at Drusillas are involved in breeding programmes, often monitored by studbook keepers or coordinators, to ensure the future survival of a species. 

EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Ex situ Programmes (EEPs) are population management programmes for animal species that are managed by EAZA Members. The aim of EEPs is to have and maintain healthy populations of healthy animals within EAZA and beyond. Currently EAZA manages programmes for over 400 different species.

Primates in particular are a cause for concern. A large number of primate species are seriously threatened with extinction in the wild. There are many reasons for this, including forest clearance and illegal hunting to supply the bushmeat trade. Zoos and other animal collections help primate conservation, both through education and by breeding programmes.

We have the privilege of caring for many vulnerable or threatened species at Drusillas, and are proud to have been successful in our breeding efforts for many of them including:

  • Sulawesi Crested Black Macaques
  • Cotton-Top Tamarins
  • Red Pandas
  • Ring-Tailed Lemurs
  • Black Lemurs
  • Lar Gibbons
  • Asian Short-Clawed Otters

The Discovery Centre

The importance of conservation is highlighted at Drusillas in the Discovery Centre. At weekends and during school holidays, Drusillas volunteers bring out an array of animal artefacts for visitors to see and touch. Many of the artefacts come from endangered species and are on loan from HM Revenue & Customs, so they can be used to raise awareness and educate. These artefacts are also used in some education sessions for school groups.

As of 2024, Drusillas is in the process of launching its own conservation charity - Drusillas Conservation Fund - which will empower us provide even more support to global conservation efforts

Conservation Education

Conservation education is an integral part of Drusillas and is incorporated within our company mission statement: “Our mission is to create an outstanding visitor experience that engages and educates children about animals and their environment, whilst also providing them with a fun and exciting day out in safe surroundings”. We are extremely passionate about teaching future conservationists about the importance of global biodiversity and how we can help protect the planet.

Furthermore at Drusillas we agree that conservation education encompasses all learning opportunities, experiences, and activities for all ages and diversities of audiences. It is not confined solely to schools or education focused purely on children. Our overarching conservation education mission is to build knowledge and understanding about animals, the natural world, and how zoos play a critical role in the fight to conserve and preserve wildlife in their natural habitats. We have a commitment to raise awareness and educate all audiences about conservation, in an attempt to ignite ambition and support causes that contribute to reversing negative wildlife trends.


Since 1996, we have raised over £84,000 to help support wildlife and education programmes in Kenya. Re-launched in 2010, the Drusillas in Africa project provides grants for young Maasai students to obtain a formal qualification in Nature Conservation, which can be used to support them in research work into endangered species such as the Grevy’s zebra. We are currently supporting 31-year-old Kenyan student Enrita Naanyu Lesoloyia to undertake a Masters degree in Environment and Community Development.

Lion Tamarins of Brazil Fund

The Lion Tamarins of Brazil Fund raises money for research being carried out in Brazil for these endangered primates. The research is fundamental in conserving these beautifully bright tamarins and we are proud to have raised over £16,000 so far. These funds go towards securing and protecting areas of forest and sponsoring local conservationists in Brazil.

Falkland Island Penguin Appeal

Drusillas supports the Falkland Island Penguin Appeal. This appeal supports fieldwork that monitors penguin species on the island and to date, we’ve raised over £13,000. The fieldwork involves analysing numbers and breeding success. Habitat destruction is of great concern and the charity works with Governments to secure safe nesting areas for the birds. 

Studbook Keeping

For many animal species, there will be a studbook keeper or coordinator tasked by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) to monitor captive animal populations throughout Europe.

Drusillas cooperates closely with studbook keepers who collect data on animals held in collections, and enter it into a studbook. This information includes details on which animal is related to which and monitors all the births, deaths and movements of animals between collections.

Record Keeping

Drusillas has been recognised by the Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS) for its high level of data accuracy. Animal records are important to animal collections; they are a bit like the records that doctors keep on humans. ZIMS maintains the information provided by the zoological community on an international scale, so its members can track the movement of an animal along with its genetic background. Drusillas fall into the top 5% of all zoos worldwide that use the animal record-keeping system for their high level of data precision.

Keeper Training and Studies

So that we can ensure our animals receive the best care, keeper training is paramount at Drusillas, both in-house and through external courses. Most keepers study the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals which allows them to gain a broader understanding of how zoos work and improve their knowledge of animal care, husbandry diets, and enclosure design which enables them to carry out research into areas that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to explore.

Drusillas Zoo Keepers and external students also undertake research at the Park, which is used by other zoos and can sometimes be published. For example, our Head Keeper, Mark Kenward, won the Best Presentation Award at the mammal working group conference for one of his research projects which not only benefits the animals at Drusillas but also animals at other collections.

Conservation In Action

Read the latest conservation news stories from Drusillas!