Issue date: 12 February 2004

ISSUE DATE: 12/02/04

Visitors wanting to help important new research into zoos could receive a valuable free gift in return for airing their views. Questionnaires are being sent out to 1,000 members of Bristol and Paignton Zoo to gauge their opinions about the different ways in which zoos present their animals. The results may then be used to inform future developments.

For each completed questionnaire returned, a free animal adoption is being offered by Bristol Zoo Gardens. For their part, Paignton Zoo is offering a free ticket to the Living Coasts attraction in Torquay for completed forms. Researchers from the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences at the University of the West of England hope that a large percentage of the surveys sent out will be completed and returned.

“The zoos themselves have been very supportive,” said Dr Adrian Evans from the research team. “This is the latest in a two-year project investigating how zoos arrange their displays and present their animals”.

The researchers, led by Dr Nils Lindahl-Elliot, have already conducted in depth qualitative research with thirty-five families who visited the zoos during the summer holidays.

“We are particularly interested in investigating how zoos are affected by the most recent forms of mass-communication, and current environmental views” said Dr Lindahl-Elliott.

“We hope that the research will be of significance not just to zoos, but to other public institutions such as aquaria, nature theme parks, and museums of science and natural history.”


Editor’s notes

1. For more information on the project, contact Dr Adrian Evans on or tel 0117 3444 328 or 07973 271903
2. The research project is being funded by £130,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council’s Science in Society programme.

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