Chris Packham's partner is a 'reluctant zoo owner'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 November 2017
Chris Packham and Paul Goldstein

Chris Packham and Paul Goldstein

Chris Packham "weeps" when he sees animals held in captivity

Chris Packham's partner is a "pretty reluctant zoo owner."

The 56-year-old naturalist has always been someone that speaks up for the animals and, although he doesn't agree with species being kept in captivity, his girlfriend Charlotte Corney, who inherited the Isle of Wight zoo from her father, tries to use her establishment to educate people on the different creatures that grace the earth.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, he said: "We have quite critical views on zoos - both myself and my partner - she's a pretty reluctant zoo owner because she inherited it from her father and she wants to make it better. There are certain species that we shouldn't have in captivity because we've learned enough about their habits and their behaviour now to say that we can't replicate their environment in captivity.

"I've never seen one of these animals - whales and dolphins - in captivity where I haven't wanted to weep. The fact that we're still breeding them in captivity and keeping them in fish tanks for the next 50 years is a hideous crime behind comprehension.

"We can't put these animals back into the wild because they wouldn't survive but what we could do is stop taking them from the wild so we faze them out."

And, although Chris doesn't agree with animals being kept in captivity, the 'Springwatch' host visits his competitors to see how he can improve his zoo.

He explained: "The other critical thing is that we've got them in captivity now - like my partner has her tigers - and they can't go back to the wild because they're not even genetically extinct. What can she do? Well she can give them a better life in the circuses they came from but they're still not achieving anything so they've got to act as ambassadors. We travel to zoos all the time because we're trying to constantly trying to improve the one we've got - learn lessons - but I'm constantly disappointed with the lack of engagement that the zoos have and it's really not tolerable if you're going to keep an animal in captivity, it's got to be there for a very good reason."

Meanwhile, Chris will attend a charity evening called 'A Wild Night Out' at Kensington Conference and Events Centre on November 14 as he and his pal Paul Goldstein entertain an audience of wildlife fans with recent galleries of their photography.

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