• Schools Education
  • Students Research
  • Zoo or Aquarium
  • BIAZA Membership
  • Corporate Membership
Dec 14, 2007

The return of Spongebob

How to make the most of a sad event and get a warning message across

On the night of 17 July 2006, one of Chessington’s Squirrel Monkeys – Spongebob – was stolen from his enclosure.

A national media campaign was immediately put into action, resulting in a huge amount of coverage in the national, regional and local press, as well as broadcast and online media. Spongebob was returned to Chessington three days afterwards, after a member of the public recognised him from a full page appeal in the Metro Newspaper.

This resulted in another round of national, regional, local and even international press, as well as a large amount of broadcast and online media. In order to sustain the apparent interest in Spongebob, and to keep those interested up to date on how he was getting on, Chessington decided to introduce several PR stories to continue to keep the story in the news.

This included a ‘SpongeBlog’ on the Chessington website, which detailed the adventures of the monkey and kept wellwishers updated. Again, this was picked up by most media. In addition, ‘Monkey Minders’ were introduced to the Monkey & Bird Garden area, resulting in local coverage.

When Spongebob unfortunately had to be moved to another Zoo following issues with settling back in after his ordeal, further media attention was received, mostly based on his SpongeBlog. Luckily, the man who stole Spongebob was caught by police as they found his DNA on site. Again, a press release was issued about the impending court case, as well as one when he was found guilty, resulting in another wave of publicity continuing into 2007.

Chessington World of Adventures

COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2007 for Best public relations project

Text size A A A

T +44 (0) 20 7449 6599
E admin@biaza.org.uk

Paignton Zoo's Great Big Rhino Project has made crucial donations of cash to wildlife conservation on two continents. The Project is to give £60,000 to support work in Africa and South East Asia to protect rhinos in the wild. More

Collaborative research by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Bristol Zoological Society and the Comorian NGO Dahari has revealed the Livingstone’s fruit bat is likely to be the most endangered fruit bat in the world. 


New data released by WWF and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) today reveals that overall global vertebrate populations are on course to decline by an average of 67 per cent from 1970 levels by the end of this decade, unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact on species and ecosystems.


Bookmark and Share