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 £3 million has been donated to a broad spectrum of conservation projects worldwide, and encompasses a wide range of species from orangutans to vultures, hornbills 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.

More on the projects supported by Action for the Wild in 2021 can be found on our annual report:

Action for the Wild supports a range of wildlife conservation projects. We actively engage in collaboration with conservation projects relevant to the animal collection at Colchester Zoo and do not accept applications for funding. 

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