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Crisis Management Conference 2022

Crisis Management & Emergency Response in Zoos Conference 2022

Update - the conference planned for 26th & 27th January 2022 has been postponed.  Further information about revised dates will be made available soon.  Check back regularly for updates.

Winner of a BIAZA award in the Professional Capacity Building Category

In 2020, the first Crisis Management and Emergency Response conference was staged at Chessington World of Adventures Resort as the first such event in the UK to cover these topics in reference to the zoo industry.

Since then, the world has been struck by a crisis that few could have predicted and of such a scale that the very existence of the industry has been placed in jeopardy. It has been a timely reminder that preparedness is key to navigating and surviving such emergencies.

With a combination of dangerous animals, crowds and challenging landscapes, zoos represent a perfect environment for unique crises to arise. Moreover, widespread environmental or cultural emergencies present zoos with exclusive threats.

We extend our invitation to those engaged in the zoo industry to the Crisis Management and Emergency Response in Zoos Conference 2022 to continue to explore how, as an industry, we can equip ourselves to deal with such situations in the future.

A broad range of topics will again be represented by experts in their fields and by those who have experienced and survived such crises. For zoo managers, health and safety officers, curators, veterinarians, PR officers or anyone in a senior position in a zoo, this event is a must.

Every session attended was interesting and has prompted at least one action.

Great conference! So glad I attended, thank you.

Really inaugural event. Really impressed with the content & that everyone was open and honest with their experiences. Lots of thought provoking information to assist in making future plans more robust.

Conference Facilities

The event

25th-26th January 2022

Ticket options:

BIAZA & ABWAK members: £150

Non - members: £170

This event will be held in the Serengeti Conference Suite at Chessington World of Adventures Resort. The price is inclusive of a 3-course, sit down meal which will be held on the evening of the 25th.

Please email if you have any additional questions regarding the conference.

In the unlikely event of new Covid restrictions preventing the conference from taking place, the event will be postponed. If you are unable to make the new dates, then a full refund will be offered.

Book your stay

The resort hotel will be open on the 25th & 26th for delegates. The rate is £75 per person, per night and £85 for two people, per night. Please follow the link below and enter the booking code ZOOCF in the ‘rate access/corporate code’ box to book your room now.

Chessington Resort Hotels (

Speaker biographies

Listed below are just a selection of our amazing speakers we have delivering presentations at the Crisis Management Conference 2022!


Amanda is a disaster resilience and disaster risk reduction advisor, specialising in strategy development and implementation through building partnerships and supporting collective, sustainable community led enterprises. She has held leadership roles at the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, Australian Red Cross and World Vision Australia. Amanda joined Zoos Victoria after the 2019-20 Australian bushfires to develop and deliver strategies and processes to increase wildlife resilience and welfare outcomes in disasters. She is also advising on strategies to consider the changing disaster landscape in Australia as a result of climate change and the impact on Zoos Victoria's operations in wildlife disaster response. Amanda is a volunteer firefighter and volunteers with Australian Red Cross Emergency Services. She was deployed in NSW and Victoria during the 2019-20 bushfires in various roles. Amanda is also the co-founder and Vice-president of the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network.


“Optimism, Curiosity and Trust in a Crisis - how Zoos Victoria is supporting wildlife and threatened species conservation during disasters and climate change”

This presentation will outline the role Zoos Victoria played during the 2019-20 Australian bushfires and share our vision and plans to become a sustainable and resilient organisation to support wildlife and threatened species in a future with more frequent, severe and catastrophic disasters.  Connecting with 3 of our core values: Optimism, Curiosity and Trustworthiness, we are changing the conversation about disasters and climate change within ZV and with our partners and communities. Disasters such as the Australian bushfires in 2019-20, are predicted to occur at a higher frequency and greater intensity, and more likely to overlap in the future. Modern zoos and other conservation-based organisations will increasingly take a critical lead role in disasters. A key focus of Zoos Victoria’s disaster resilience and emergency management work has been to enhance preparedness for this future. We are thinking beyond extreme weather events and planning for the long-term flow on impacts and consequences of climate change and catastrophic disasters. This presentation will outline how ZV is taking action to support wildlife and threatened species conservation in our changing climate, and how we are changing hearts and minds to realise our vision for a future rich in wildlife. 


Coral joined Dartmoor Zoo back in 2013. Previously she worked as a Biology teacher at secondary schools in London and Devon before joining the zoo as their education officer. After completing a masters in Conservation Biology, Coral took on a new role as Head of Education and Research. With an established team and over 8 years of working in the zoo Coral took the job as Chief Operating Officer in September 2019.


“From Tug of War to Tug of Words”

After careful debate and consideration, Dartmoor Zoo decided to try something new. We advertised an opportunity for visitors to feel first-hand exactly how strong the largest Panthera species can be, charging £15 for the privilege. The primary aim was to bring the cats’ enrichment programme and the visitors together in a safe and inspiring way. Some negative comments from ‘anti’ groups were assumed. However, we were not expecting to go global…


A public aquarium professional since the early 2000’s working at two of the largest UK aquariums as well as four other collections. The chair of the BIAZA Aquarium Working Group Committee and Senior Curator of Sealife London Aquarium. A background in mechanical engineering, recreational and commercial diving as well as aquarium retail trade experience.


“Public Aquariums, are they really about exhibiting fish or more just trying to keep the water where it should be?”

In a career reaching nearly twenty years I have had to deal with a few challenging situations that have been unexpected. They all though revolve around trying to keep water in the planned location! Preferably not in the public space. In this talk I will explain a few of the events that have happened and how they were dealt with along with lessons learned.


Sarah has been a keeper for 8 years and has been part of zoo firearms teams for 5 years. She started out as a Chester Zoo intern, before getting her first keeper job at South Lakes Safari Zoo. She worked there for 5 years before moving to Manor Wildlife Park where she worked for 2 1/2 years. She is currently a senior carnivore keeper at Exmoor zoo. 


“Just Lion Around” Finding an unconscious category 1 carnivore in an outdoor enclosure.

My personal experience of being involved with a scenario where we found an unconscious category 1 carnivore in the outdoor enclosure. A presentation given from the point of view of firearms response and a carnivore keeper. 


Dom has spent his career so far following his passion for visitor attractions and venue operations. He graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology but soon after, found a love for attractions management and so began his career at Blackpool Pleasure Beach group, as one of their first graduate managers. Dom then became a part of the opening team at the Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool, launching the venue as part of the city’s 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations before joining Chester Zoo within Commercial Operations in 2010. Dom is responsible for commercial revenues at Chester Zoo, leading both the Visitor Experience and Operations teams along with the Marketing, PR and Fundraising teams, ensuring that Chester Zoo remains one of the most visited attractions in the UK.


“Save our Zoo”