Royal Burgers’ Zoo won the “Best Outing in the Netherlands 2017” public award in the Zoos category, with a total of 1,556 votes and a final score of 8.5. The competition was organised by media group De Persgroep, whose daily newspapers, free local papers, and websites reach 9.6 million people every day. Alex van Hooff, director of the zoo in Arnhem, was proud to accept the award under the watchful eyes of the curious, newly-born aardvark. Burgers’ Zoo is internationally renowned for its so-called eco-displays, in which extraordinary natural areas have been meticulously replicated, and where animals enjoy a great deal of freedom. In the summer of 2017, the zoo will open its newest eco-display: Burgers’ Mangrove—the largest covered mangrove in the world, which will feature manatees, butterflies, crabs, birds, fish, and reptiles.
“Always continue innovating and improving”
“A modern zoo must continuously strive to innovate and improve itself. Technological developments follow each other in rapid succession, and the way we currently view animals in captivity has changed considerably from approximately twenty years ago,” says director Alex van Hooff. “That is why we are extra proud that our years of effort are noticed and appreciated by our visitors. Winning this public award demonstrates that we are on the right track. We still have so many wonderful plans for the future, including opening our next upcoming project in the summer of 2017: Burgers’ Mangrove, the largest covered mangrove in the world. A 12-metre long window will allow visitors to feel like real explorers, standing face-to-face with manatees while colourful butterflies flitter all around them.”
Creatively stimulating people to vote
Burgers’ Zoo put a creative, playful video online, in which the zoo convinces the viewer to vote for it.
With a nod to Lubach’s satirical video on President Trump’s “America First”, Burgers’ Zoo used stunning drone footage to introduce the viewer to the park, followed up by a more serious explanation of how the zoo actively supports conservation in word and deed every year. For the past 28 years, for example, Burgers’ Zoo has been successfully protecting a 235-square kilometre nature reserve in Belize, together with the Papiliorama butterfly park in Switzerland. The Arnhem zoo has also been one of Future for Nature’s main sponsors for over ten years.