Into the lion’s den

Nick Lindsay of Whipsnade Zoo working in Kabul, Afghanistan
Nick Lindsay of Whipsnade Zoo working in Kabul, Afghanistan

WHIPSNADE Zoo received a phone call from wartorn Tripoli asking for help to save the animals from the battered park in Libya’s troubled capital.

The desperate plea for help from North Africa was urgently referred to the continent’s association of zoos.

David Field, the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) director of animals, said it was an indication of just how much prestige Whipsnade has around the world.

Behind the scenes, staff from Whipsnade are carrying out an amazing amount of work in some surprising places across the planet, including Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Experts from Whipsnade went out there about a year ago.

Mr Field said: “Kabul Zoo is a hugely important community place. It’s where people go on a Sunday to meet people and do their networking. We have to recognise the importance of it while encouraging animal welfare.”

Whipsnade’s work in helping to preserve species extends to educating people about learning to share their environment with endangered animals.

One of the world’s most rare animals, the Przewalski’s horse, is also seen as a tasty morsel in its native Mongolia. Mr Field explained that conservation work isn’t all about breeding the animals in this country and added: “It’s about educating people in outer Mongolia to look after the Przewalski’s horse, not to see it just as a meal.”