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Nov 30, 2009

Mary Brancker Waterways and Borneo Longhouse

Mary Brancker Waterways and Borneo Longhouse from Twycross Zoo - East Midland Zoological Society

Mary Brancker Waterways and Borneo Longhouse is an innovative immersion exhibit for wetlands

The Mary Brancker Waterways and Borneo Longhouse exhibit was developed at Twycross Zoo in 2006/2007 and has provided a replacement for the previous series of unimaginative waterfowl ponds.

The aim of the exhibit was twofold. To provide naturalistic and improved facilities for the animals in our care and provide an immersive environment for our visitors which demonstrated the importance of wetlands throughout the world through development of ecosystems and innovative interpretation.

The authenticity of the Borneo Longhouse was integral to the visitor experience and so to ensure that the design was correct staff members took a study tour to Malaysia. This enabled the design team to fully understand how local people live alongside wildlife and also allowed the collection of authentic traditional artefacts.

The habitats created as part of this exhibit were designed to be sympathetic to local biodiversity as well as the exotic animals. Planting with carefully selected local species allowed creation of a habitat representative of a native wetland that was also self-sustainable with a circulation and reed bed system to keep the water clean.

This development was dedicated to Miss Mary Brancker CBE, in recognition of her lifetime commitment to Twycross Zoo. Mary was a Founder Trustee of the Zoo, retiring only in 2007 and was the zoos first vet and became the first female President of the British Veterinary Association.

The exhibit opened on the 24th July 2007 an event, which to our delight, attracted the presence of Mr Brian Blessed and the Malaysian High Commissioner, His Excellency Datuk Abd Aziz Mohammed. Since then it has been a hit with our visitors as the evaluation in 2008 showed.

Developed by:  Twycross Zoo - East Midland Zoological Society

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