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Paignton Zoo has launched an online In Memoriam book for people with a special affection for the Zoo. And the first names in the book are those of two very special people.

Sylvia and Tony King were long-time Zoo supporters and volunteers. Their son Alan, also a volunteer, recalls: “My father’s parents were keen on the Zoo. They knew Philip Michelmore, who was Herbert Whitley's friend and successor. We were all members of what was then known as the Peacock Association in the late ‘60s. My father started to volunteer after he retired in the late 1980s. He was the Chair of PAWS, as it became, for many years - and my mother was Social Secretary.”

So Alan is the third generation of his family to share a passion for Paignton Zoo. For many years all three volunteered regularly and were well-known by staff and visitors alike. Why does Alan think the online In Memoriam book is such a good idea?

“Memorial benches deteriorate but an online presence can last forever. Friends and relatives can not only see what has been put up, they can contribute, too. My mother had friends who are now in New Zealand and Canada – it’s perfect for them. I hope it will prompt people to donate to the Zoo as a conservation charity.”

Paignton Zoo, one of the UK's top zoos, is also a conservation and education charity dedicated to protecting our global wildlife heritage. Zoo fundraiser Jenny Paton explains: “This online book is a special place for supporters of Paignton Zoo to share and celebrate memories of loved ones. You can click on a name to find out more about the life of the person and read the memories that people have shared, or add your own dedication to their page. It’s also interactive – you can set it to send a reminder of special dates.”

Entry in the book is free, but donations are welcome. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to: http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/get-involved/in-memoriam-book

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