Ashton MP Rayner hails ‘nationally leading’ Chester Zoo

LOCAL MP Angela Rayner has been learning more about the pioneering conservation work of Chester Zoo, which she describes as “nationally leading”.

The MP, who represents Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth in the House of Commons, formally visited the zoo to meet its animal care teams, conservation experts and CEO Jamie Christon.

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party discovered more about the charity’s ongoing efforts to prevent extinction and create a future where nature can survive and thrive.

“We can be very proud that it is a zoo in the North West that is leading efforts to create a better future for nature,” Ms Rayner said.

Angela Rayner at Chester Zoo

“I know Chester Zoo’s expertise is vital to the policy process and I am confident that a responsible government will utilise them in the future.”

Her visit came as Chester Zoo has become increasingly prominent in Parliamentary debates, with cross-party MPs drawing on the wildlife charity’s conservation expertise on a variety of topics linked to protecting the environment and restoring global biodiversity.

During the visit, Ms Rayner toured the largest zoological building in the UK, Monsoon Forest, to hear more about Chester Zoo’s work to prevent deforestation by driving behaviour change.

She learnt about the zoo’s plans to welcome a pair of highly threatened snow leopards, joining the international conservation breeding programme for the species, and its latest project to bring an authentic African savannah with lodge-style accommodation to the heart of Cheshire.

Ms Rayner also met with Chester Zoo’s animal care teams to hear about the practical side of caring for some of the world’s most iconic and threatened species, including the Asian elephant and the Sumatran tiger.

She added: “Chester Zoo is a national leader in science, conservation and conservation education that is playing a crucial role in preventing extinction both here in the UK and worldwide.

“With the addition of the Heart of Africa development in 2025 and the new snow leopard habitat this Easter, I know Chester Zoo will continue to go from strength to strength and will continue to find innovative ways to fund its increasingly vital conservation work.

“At every turn, Chester Zoo represents pioneering conservation work undertaken by a nationally leading zoo. Despite the brilliant work at Chester Zoo, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.”

CEO Jamie Christon said it was great to welcome the MP to the zoo.

“I welcome her clear commitment to the natural world,” he added.

“As a conservation and education charity, we continue to work with politicians of all types to offer our expertise and help to shape the policy process to build a future where nature can thrive.

“With the world in a biodiversity crisis, the work of conservation charities like Chester Zoo has never been more important.”

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