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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 17:22 GMT
Trust seeks support for expansion
Artist's impression of gorilla enclosure: Pic Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
The plans include a new gorilla enclosure
A planned multi-million pound redevelopment of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust could bring thousands more visitors to Jersey.

The ambitious 47m plans for the trust's headquarters in Trinity could take about five years to complete.

Included in the trust's plans is a 20m enclosure for the gorillas.

Chief Executive Mark Stanley Price said the plans were a vision at the moment and needed the island's support.

The trust was set up as Jersey Zoo in 1959 by author and naturalist Gerald Durrell, who died in 1995.

Natural surroundings

Its aim is to prevent the decline and extinction of endangered animals and it is currently taking part in captive breeding programmes involving more than 30 different species.

The trust's plans also include a new visitor centre with cafe and restaurant and the creation of self-catering eco-lodges.

Artist's impression of eco-cabin: Pic Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
The self-catering lodges will be eco-friendly

It said construction would not begin on the multi-million pound redevelopment until significant resources were in place.

Gerald Durrell's widow Lee, an honorary director of the trust, said her husband would have approved of the plans.

"I think he would have been really pleased that the development plans incorporate and enhance the natural beauty of the site in Trinity.

"He was always adamant that animals - and people for that matter - should be accommodated in natural surroundings and be allowed to express their natural behaviours.

"But on a deeper level, I know that he would have been most gratified by the fact that the development here in Jersey, where he started his modest "zoo" nearly 50 years ago, will actually strengthen our conservation capacity around the world."



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