Letter: Happier at the zoo

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Sir: At the meeting on 15 December, the Council of the Zoological Society of London gave me its overwhelming support. Nick Schoon's suggestion, therefore, that my position is still 'precarious' (14 December) is untrue, speculative and somewhat dismissive of the facts. He further suggests that my six-monthly appraisal is out of the ordinary and as a result of the board's vote; in fact this is normal procedure for all senior employees at the zoo.

What pleases me most is the enormous support I have been given by the staff of London Zoo - truly overwhelming and genuinely moving. More important, however, is the relief felt by all the staff that this episode is now behind us. London Zoo has had its share of negative publicity over the past few years, and this is not a return to those days of turmoil. We have had a good year, with a new business plan, fundraising initiatives in place, new exhibits being built, a revenue surplus and high staff morale.

My personal commitment to the future of London Zoo remains undiminished - we shall continue to work to save endangered species by captive breeding, and to inspire commitment to conservation in our visitors.

Yours faithfully,

J. H. W. GIPPS

Director, London Zoo

London, NW1

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