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Updated: Jul 28, 2023

On Thursday 13 July, Her Royal HighnessThePrincess Royal visited Jersey as part of Durrell Wildlife ConservationTrust’s Tortoise Takeover celebrations.

Whilst on the island, HRHvisitedthe castle green at Mont Orgueil castle, to see ‘Sanctuary,’the giant tortoisesculptureDurrell is gifting The Princess Royal, to mark 50 years of Patronage of the Trust.Last year, HRH chose the designby artist Gabriella Street for the tortoise sculpture, which featured colours that were exact swatches pulled from photographs of The Princess Royal’s past and present fashion, alongside flora and fauna specific to her many trips to Durrell projects and Jersey Zoo

Alongside the tortoise, trail newcomer, ‘Love to Run’, a stunning haresculpture, made a special hop over to Goreycastle for the day. HRH also metNickRomeril, the Jersey based artist who created the majestic sculpture.Whilst at Jersey Zoo, The Princess Royal was also able to view ‘Gerald Durrell and Other Animals’, which was designed by AnnabelHitchmoughand depicts the life and work of Gerald Durrelland manyof the animals that he workedwith.During the visit, HRH also officially openedtheTortoise Tunnel at Jersey Zoo, a brand-new state of the art enclosure for four giant Aldabra tortoises.

The charityhasbeen working with Aldabra tortoises for many years in theirisland restoration programme inMauritius, helping to restore vital ecosystems that have been lost due to the extinction of native tortoises.Reflecting on HRH’svisit anddedication to the charity, Durrell’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lesley Dickie, said: “We were delighted to have Her Royal Highness visit Jersey Zoo once again. Over 51 years of patronage, Her Royal Highness’s knowledge, passion,and belief in our mission to save species from extinctionhas beenan inspirationnot only to the Durrell team, but alsotoour loyal supporters.

It was great to be able to show The Princess Royal the finished sculpture whilst on the trail, ahead of it being gifted to Her Royal Highness later this year.”The Princess Royal last visitedJersey Zoo in 2021, where she officially opened ButterflyKaleidoscope. HRH has been a patron of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust since1972.


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