The Princess Royal opens Tortoise Tunnel at Jersey Zoo
Published 18 July 2023
The Princess Royal, Patron of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, has been in Jersey as part of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Tortoise Takeover celebrations.
Tortoise Takeover is an island-wide sculpture trail with colourful, inspiring, and thrilling works of art that will lead people on a trail to see the tortoises and their home on the Island. Each of the giant tortoise sculptures have been designed by artists from Jersey, the UK and beyond. After the trail, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds to build a new Tropical House at Jersey Zoo for the many species of threatened reptiles and amphibians looked after by Durrell’s expert team of herpetologists.
During her visit, The Princess Royal saw ‘Sanctuary,’ the giant tortoise sculpture gifted by Durrell to mark 50 years of Her Royal Highness's Patronage of the Trust.
Last year, The Princess chose the design by artist Gabriella Street for the tortoise sculpture, which featured colours that were exact swatches pulled from photographs of Her Royal Highness’s past and present fashion, alongside flora and fauna specific to her many trips to Durrell projects and Jersey Zoo.
Whilst at Jersey Zoo, Her Royal Highness was also able to view ‘Gerald Durell and Other Animals’, which was designed by Annabel Hitchmough and depicts the life and work of Gerald Durrell and many of the animals that he worked with.
Later, The Princess Royal officially opened the Tortoise Tunnel at Jersey Zoo, a brand-new state of the art enclosure for four giant Aldabra tortoises. The charity has been working with Aldabra tortoises for many years in their island restoration programme in Mauritius, helping to restore vital ecosystems that have been lost due to the extinction of native tortoises.
The Princess Royal has been Patron of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust since 1972.
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