Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is based in Henry’s home island of Jersey, Channel Islands.
Durrell is an international charity with the mission of saving species from extinction.
Author and naturalist Gerald Durrell founded the Jersey Zoo in 1959. It became a charitable trust in 1963 and was renamed Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in 1999 in honour of its founder.
George Durrell believed, “that zoos could be a sanctuary” and “provide a ‘reservoir for endangered species.’”
The mission is still the same today.
Durrell’s mission is saving species from extinction. It is therefore committed to the conservation of the earth’s biodiversity. Conservation, the environment and the principles of sustainability are intrinsically linked, mutually supportive and share common objectives. Success for Durrell and for overall biodiversity conservation requires healthy ecosystems and environments. Reflecting this Durrell is committed to developing, following and enhancing effective environmental and sustainability policies and programmes.
Durrell pursues its mission by undertaking conservation action and building conservation capacity around the world, as well as managing the wildlife park in Jersey as its headquarters and as a world class centre for breeding, research, training and education.
Durrell Wildlife Park is 33 acres of beautiful parkland, located in Trinity, Jersey. It serves as home to 120 different species, and has 175,000 visitors annually. Located within the park are a cafe, restaurant, wildlife camp, conservation academy, organic farm, and veterinary center.
Henry serves as ambassador for Durrell Wildlife to bring awareness and support to these animals.
Henry visited the park on August 6, 2014 and toured the grounds while he recorded this video. In it he strongly encourages everyone to visit and he explains why he loves Durrell.
During his visit he told staff members that it was the behavior of residents of Durrell that shaped his views on conservation. He recognized the similarity in the bonds formed by the inhabitants to those he had formed with his family.
Henry told us that although his life so far has exceeded his wildest dreams, it’s his family that he’s most thankful for, as their love and support has been his foundation from the very start.
He also told us that family visits to Durrell Wildlife Park (then Jersey Zoo) made for some truly happy memories… and that he saw exactly the same love, support and family bonds amongst one of our own non-human (though very closely related) families; silverback gorilla Jambo, and his troupe. It resonated with him deeply, he said.
Hearing him describe how seeing Jambo in person – 200kgs of muscle – and learning how one of the strongest animals on the planet had gently cared for a five year-old boy who fell into the gorilla enclosure, we couldn’t help but become even fonder of our local hero. He doesn’t believe we should call him that, but that’s the only thing we disagree with him on!
What he ‘took home’ from his visits, all those years ago, was the need for someone, anyone, to watch out for our planet’s fellow inhabitants, and not just the human ones – especially the ones without voices. Well, this puts us into a situation of mutual admiration… which we think is simply incredible. We can’t thank him enough, and he’s agreed to help us out, however and wherever he can!
In Henry’s own words:
“I’m enormously proud to be part of a team that makes such a huge positive impact on the world. Durrell is an organisation with a mission I can really get behind. I feel that saving the diversity of life on our planet will be seen as increasingly important in the not-too-distant future. I genuinely believe that Durrell provide hope for those endangered animals that others may have given up on already. They ‘do the seemingly impossible’; I would be truly humbled if I help to make that possible.”
Durrell needs public suport to continue to do their work. Henry has pledged his support and joined the Durrell family. He has adopted a gorilla family and his supporters can do the same. When you join you Henry’s extended Durrell family you will receive a special welcome packet with exclusive content.
The different packets include autographed photos like the ones below.
A single, lucky fan has the opportunity to own this mystery “One” edition photo. See details here.
Check out HQ pics of Henry’s visit to Durrell Wildlife:
For all the details, visit cavillconservation.com.
Sources: Durrell.org and cavillconservation.com