Belfast Zoo is celebrating following its success at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquarium Awards.
The annual award ceremony recognises outstanding achievements in the zoological world and Belfast Zoo was awarded two prestigious prizes.
The zoo’s breeding programme of Francois Langur, an incredibly rare species of monkey found in the wild in China and Vietnam, was awarded a bronze award by the governing body.
The Education Team also scooped a bronze award for its contribution to the NI Science Festival – Science behind the Zoo event.
The aim of this project was to motivate people of all ages into the field of science as a career and to help enthuse individuals who are passionate about different aspects of conservation.
Zoo Manager Alyn Cairns said: “Last year we won a silver award for our dedication to red squirrel conservation so this year we are delighted to be able to build upon our success with the addition of two accolades by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
“The good news is particularly welcome at the moment as we have been finding our feet and getting used to a new way of working since reopening to the public after lockdown.
“We’re proud of our contribution towards both conservation and education, so to have our work recognised by experts from within the zoo community is a great honour for us.”
Belfast Zoo curator Andrew Hope added: “There are thought to be only around 3,000 Francois Langurs left in the wild.
“We have had huge breeding success with the endangered François langurs here at Belfast Zoo.
“It is a privilege to be able to help advance the care of this species and to share information in such a way that it can be used by other collections.”
Councillor Daniel Baker, Chair of People and Communities Committee, also commented on the success and said: “This recognition is very well deserved and it is fantastic to see the staff at Belfast Zoo reap the rewards for their constant dedication and hard work.
“The awards demonstrate just how high the standards of animal welfare are at Belfast Zoo and show that there is a real passion and constant contribution to both breeding and education. Congratulations to everyone!”