I was delighted to read of the WAZA Conservation Award to Marwell Wildlife, recognising its dedication to conservation for more than five decades. 

However, I am sad that no mention was made in the zoo's notification of this award of the visionary founder of Marwell Zoological Park, Dr John Knowles, OBE. 

John Knowles created Marwell Zoo, donating it to the charity which runs it. He established many conservation programmes and was a true pioneer in the field. The Scimitar-horned Oryx was the zoo's flagship animal, chosen as its early logo by John, and he initiated the first re-introduction of that species to Tunisia in 1985. 

Thanks to his vision, Marwell participated in the conservation of Przewalski's horses and encouraged many other breeding programmes. Dr Knowles was also instrumental in providing Roan Antelope from Marwell for Back to Africa. This is a project in Eswatini (Swaziland) where there are now, from a state of near-extinction, more Roan than in the Kruger National Park. 

One of Dr Knowles's favourites was also the rare and endangered Okapi which flourishes at Marwell. 

His name and legacy should never be forgotten.

Gaynor Worman,

Piping Green,

Colden Common,
Press and Publicity Officer, Marwell,

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