Creepy crawlies play starring role as zoo lands top awards

Zoo staff outside bugs exhibit

Kirsten Pullen, Chief Science Officer and Steve Nash, Curator of Birds, Lower Vertebrates, and Invertebrate. - Credit: Submitted

Paignton Zoo is celebrating winning two top awards - with its creepy crawlies playing a starring role.

The Lower Vertebrate and Invertebrate team at the zoo has been awarded not just one, but two, prestigious SILVER awards at this year’s BIAZA Awards.

The first was for the first successful zoo breeding of the critically Endangered Nguru pygmy chameleon, with the second being awarded to the zoo’s innovative invertebrate house, ‘Bugs at Home’.

BIAZA is an organisation that represents the UK’s best zoos and aquariums and their annual awards highlight and celebrate the innovations and successes of the past year.

Steve Nash; Curator of Birds, Lower Vertebrates, and Invertebrates said: “The last year and a half have been exceptionally difficult for everyone, so we’re extremely pleased to receive these awards as they highlight two great achievements by our staff here at Paignton Zoo. Our award for breeding the chameleons illustrates the incredible expertise and dedication of our team. As a result of this success, we can now say that we have a much better understanding of how this critically endangered species lives and breeds; information we can put to good use to inform future conservation efforts in their native range.“

As well as providing fantastic welfare for its invertebrates, Bugs at Home has also proven itself a huge success with visitors.

A zoo spokesman said: "It’s only a small building, but it’s a beautiful, engaging space that delivers a clear message on why conservation is something we can all get involved with, allowing visitors to see spiders, stick insects, ants and more in a whole new light. Creating the exhibit was a real team effort, and this award is a huge credit to everyone involved."


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