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Prince Edward visits Banham Zoo to mark 50 years of wildlife conservation

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:36 09 May 2019

Prince Edward,  Earl of Wessex, pictured at the Royal Norfolk Show, is to visit Banham Zoo. Picture: Bill Smith

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, pictured at the Royal Norfolk Show, is to visit Banham Zoo. Picture: Bill Smith

Bill Smith

Prince Edward visits Banham Zoo today to mark 50 years of wildlife conservation.

Banham Zoo has a 50 year history of wildlife conservation. Picture: Denise BradleyBanham Zoo has a 50 year history of wildlife conservation. Picture: Denise Bradley

Banham opened to the public in 1968 and houses diverse species, a number of which are endangered such as the Amur tiger, Grevy's zebra and Golden lion tamarin.

The Earl of Wessex will tour of the zoo with a walk round Eureka!, the zoo's South American themed tropical house that is home to a variety of species including the zoo's newest arrivals, Cuvier's dwarf caiman.

The Cuvier’s dwarf caiman at Banham Zoo in “Eureka!”, the South American themed tropical house. Picture: Banham ZooThe Cuvier’s dwarf caiman at Banham Zoo in “Eureka!”, the South American themed tropical house. Picture: Banham Zoo

The Prince will also go on a whirlwind tour of the zoo, encountering some of the world's most critically endangered species including blue-eyed black lemurs and Amur tigers.

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He will then meet children from Banham Primary School on the giraffe platform where there will be an opportunity to feed the zoo's herd of giraffe.

Prince Edward will also keepers who care for the animals, the maintenance team who built the new caiman habitat, and some of the volunteers who give their time to the zoo and charity behind it.

Lemers will be amongst the species that the Earl of Wssex sees on his visit to Banham Zoo Picture: Antony KellyLemers will be amongst the species that the Earl of Wssex sees on his visit to Banham Zoo Picture: Antony Kelly

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA) conservation and education charity that leads Banham Zoo and its sister park Africa Alive! was formed in 2013 to secure their long term futures and have a greater purpose than just being successful visitor attractions. Any surplus funding generated at the ZSEA zoos is directed to supporting the charity's objectives.

The royal visitor, , who will be met on his visit this afternoon by ZSEA chief executive Professor David Field, as well as several dignitaries and members of staff, will learn about the charity's five-year conservation pledge to ensure that 15 species are safer from extinction, 15,000 individuals will experience improved well-being and 150,000 people are better connected to nature.

Mr Field said: "The challenges faced in the natural world are ever increasing so the work of conservation charities such as ZSEA are hugely significant.

"Our five-year pledge will make a difference to animals and people and making this pledge in the presence of HRH Prince Edward gives us even more motivation to achieve this."

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