Colchester Zoo has always cared passionately about the world's threatened species, and created its charity Action for the Wild to assist projects worldwide.
It provides both financial and technical assistance, and aims to raise awareness among local people in community conservation programmes, as well as supporting conservation research.
Since 2004, when Action for the Wild achieved charitable status, over £1.2million has been donated to a broad spectrum of conservation projects worldwide, and encompasses a wide range of species from orangutans to vultures, pygmy hippos to Komodo dragons and elephants to moths.
Since 2005, Action for the Wild has been working to set up the 6,000 hectare UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. We have been working to rehabilitate the land, which was previously managed as separate cattle farms, to return it to a healthy state after the intensive grazing, and also to release native animal species back onto the reserve.
Many species have been released; these species include zebra, nyala, giraffe, red hartebeest, blesbok, waterbuck, common reedbuck, blue wildebeest, ostrich and most notably, white rhinoceros. Since their release, many species have also given birth.
In 2015, Colchester Zoo's charitable arm, Action for the Wild, supported 13 projects, many of which we are continuing support from previous years. This year there are also three new projects:
- Orangutan Appeal UK
- Research into the herpes virus affecting captive elephants
More on these and all the projects supported by Action for the Wild in 2015 can be found on our annual reportt: