Love your Zoo week is an annual nationwide event praising and promoting the important work that is done in zoos across the UK run by BIAZA (British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

Coinciding with the May half-term from 27th May to 4th June 2017, its aim is to promote the conservation, education and research done in zoos and aquariums across the UK.

Here at the International Centre for Birds of Prey we are also proudly revelling in our 50th Anniversary, so we have even more reason to rejoice.  And we hope you can come and join us and help us celebrate.

So why should you love your zoo?

It’s a great day out!  More than 23 million people visit BIAZA’s member organisations every year, and you have the opportunity to see more than 2,000 different species of animals.

We have over 50 different species of birds of prey, from kites and kestrels, to eagles and condors here at the centre.  We also have over 20 different species of owls, from the beautiful snowy owl to the exotic Asian brown Wood owl.

More than 1.3 million people visit BIAZA zoos or aquariums every year on educational visits.  They offer an accessible and informative way to learn about animals, their behaviour and their habitats.  We welcome many schools, clubs and groups here all year round, and also offer unique experiences for corporate days with a difference!

Research and conservation has been at the heart of what we do here for 50 years, as it is for all zoos and aquariums, and we are involved in many different projects here in the UK and across the world.

Just to mention a few, we are developing Little Owl and Kestrel nest boxes for distribution locally to combat the steady decline of natural habitats open to our native birds of prey.

We are also committed in supporting the global fight against the vulture crisis that has seen numbers of some species decline by over 98%, and see some species of vulture threatened by extinction.

Jemima Parry Jones, MBE and Director said:

‘The wonderful thing about a BIAZA Zoo is that you know it is good enough quality to belong to the association. Standards are all important, and BIAZA also does some great training days for our staff. 

‘Zoos are really important to the conservation of species and visitors are all important to zoos – the perfect partnership!’

Collectively BIAZA member organisations contribute over £11 million per annum on more than 500 conservation projects, and contribute over £650 million to the national economy.

And it’s all thanks to you!  Every time you visit, become a member, donate or support your local zoo or aquarium you are helping us to learn more, research, raise awareness and get involved with protecting and preserving raptors here in the UK and across the world.

So come along this week, and get involved!  Help us celebrate our anniversary, and rejoice in zoos everywhere!

Take a selfie next to our ‘Love your Zoo’ heart and share on social media.  Leave us your comments and thoughts about your favourite things at our centre on our ‘Love your Zoo Week Comments Board’.  Find the staff’s favourite birds around the centre and enter our competition to win the chance to sponsor your very own bird!

Whatever you do, know that whilst you are having a fun day out visiting your favourite zoos, you are helping animals the world over! You are also being educated without even knowing it! Well done you! And thank you!

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