DZC receives trio of top awards!
We’re thrilled to announce we’ve scooped a gold and two silver honours in the prestigious British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquarium (BIAZA) Awards, which celebrate excellence in the industry.
We were awarded gold in the Diversity and Inclusion category for spearheading a campaign for allergy awareness following the installation of a number of food allergy signs around the zoo last summer.
Meanwhile the £500K outdoor Bornean orangutan enclosure, which we completed last year, was honoured with silver in the exhibit category.
And our carnivore keeping team picked up a further silver certificate in the Behaviour and Welfare category for training our two snow leopards to receive injections by hand.
Zoo Director Derek Grove, said: “These awards highlight how the innovative work of DZC staff directly impacts the lives of our animals and visitor experience and we are incredibly proud that their continued dedication and hard work has been recognised by our peers within the zoo community.”
GOLD – DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:
Inspired by the young son of two of our Zoo Keepers, we installed signage around the site’s playgrounds to raise awareness and highlight the dangers for children and adults with food allergies.
We’ve since been contacted by other BIAZA collections, some of who have asked to use our specific signage design – and we’ve spotted it already in-situ!
The signage has been a great conversation starter and feedback from visitors has been hugely positive, with photos being shared among allergen groups across the country.
By helping spearhead this campaign at DZC, Lower Primates Section Leader, Jodie Dryden has also been invited to work alongside BIAZA in the hope of pushing awareness across the BIAZA community, in a bid to show support, inclusion and a greater understanding of allergies and the allergen community at all BIAZA institutes.
SILVER – EXHIBIT CATEGORY:
After launching a public fundraiser in 2017 for help in building a new outdoor area for our family of great apes, the new outdoor grassed enclosure was completed in 2022, providing them with an additional 1,300 square metres of space.
Our orangutans can all be spotted making great use of the large, robust climbing frame, ropes and hammocks.
The exhibit has also been complemented by engaging and interactive educational interpretation about the devastating effects of palm oil and ways we can help orangutans in the wild.
SILVER – BEHAVIOUR AND WELFARE:
To aid with veterinary care, big cat keepers devised a training schedule for the zoo’s two snow leopards to enable them both to receive injections by hand.
Using reward-based clicker target training over a relatively short space of time, the team successfully achieved their initial aims, with both Taiga and Makalu able to not only calmly receive routine vaccinations by hand from the zoo’s veterinary team, but also receive intramuscular anaesthetic drugs ahead of health checks.
Positive reinforced target training for medical procedures not only avoids stressful situations but also improves animal welfare as the leopards are allowed to voluntarily participate in their own veterinary care.
The team are now using the same injection training methods and techniques with other big cats on section.