Keepers were honoured with a Bronze award in recognition of their ground-breaking work with Chantico, a spider monkey orphaned at just two-weeks old who was hand-reared and then successfully integrated into a larger troop with no mother present. This is the first time a spider monkey has successfully been re-introduced into a larger grouping size -  this has only ever been done in smaller troops of two individuals, and when the mother is present. Due to its success, this approach has now been added to the husbandry guidelines for this species.


Lisa Britton, Primates Supervisor at Chessington World of Adventures, said: “We are so pleased to be recognised for our work with Chantico, as this has been a labour of love for the Zoo team here at Chessington. When the baby was orphaned at two weeks, we had to make the difficult decision to hand-rear her to ensure her safety. We handled her as little as possible and housed her close to the main group for the first year, which proved to be a successful strategy as the integration into the large troop was seamless and Chantico is now fully settled within the group. We are so proud that our approach is now being added to the husbandry guidelines for other zoos in the same situation.”












This award particularly highlights Chessington’s efforts in conservation and in maintaining high levels of animal welfare, and is a testament to the work done by the dedicated keepers at the Resort.


The BIAZA awards recognise outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of wildlife conservation, advances in animal welfare and husbandry, marketing, PR, education, research, and enclosure design.


Dr Kirsten Pullen, CEO of BIAZA said: “The BIAZA awards highlight the vital work carried out in zoos and aquariums. All of this year’s award-winning projects show the exceptional contributions our members are making to wildlife conservation, animal husbandry and welfare, and public understanding for species both in the UK and overseas. We congratulate all the winners.”





Notes for editors:


Images and further information on all awards are available

For further information please contact the Chessington Press Office on 01372 731 563 or















  • British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)

The Zoo at Chessington World of Adventures Resort is a member of BIAZA. BIAZA is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK and Ireland. With about 100 members, its role is to develop and spread best practice within the UK and international zoo community, combining lobbying and campaigning with the development of policy in collaboration with the government and scientific organisations. Over the last 12 months, BIAZA members have supported around 700 projects by providing financial support in excess of £10 million and by supplying skills, staff and equipment for conservation programmes worldwide.  Visit for more information.



  • MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 106 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 63 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, the and the commitment and passion of its managers and c26,000 employee (peak season).


  • Among Merlin’s attractions are  –  SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK. All brands which as distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit for more information.




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