It's not just a case of putting two animals together and hoping for the best...
The survival of endangered animals is now more reliant on the sustainability of the species' zoo population than ever before. By strictly managing these populations, we are safeguarding a species.
We are home to a vast array of different species; many of these are classified as threatened, endangered or critically endangered in the wild. There are many species at the HCC which are part of either the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) or the European Studbook (ESB).
Animal pairings are based on the best genetic match for the species and so provide a safeguard for genetic health within the zoo population, for whichever species is in question. By effectively managing these populations, we are making sure that if the time for re-introduction did ever arise, we have animals that a genetically fit and healthy for such a project.
For animals that are not on a co-ordinated breeding programme, zoos will co-ordinate breeding between themselves.