On Friday 13 and Saturday 14 June, The Crown Princess attended Nordens Ark's 25th anniversary celebrations. Nordens Ark works to give endangered animals a future, and its main operations are based at Åby Manor in Bohuslän. The Crown Princess is patron of Nordens Ark.
The celebrations began on the Friday with a seminar at the University of Gothenburg, on the theme of 'Nature's beauty – the welfare of the future'. Participants included Professor Johan Rockström and wildlife photographer Mattias Klum.
The Crown Princess began Saturday morning with a tour of Nordens Ark. The guides were CEO of Nordens Arks Lena M. Lindén, Chairman Göran Bengtsson and Operational Manager Linnéa Johansson.
During the tour, The Crown Princess found out more about the conditions faced by the hermit ibis, Przewalski horse, the great grey owl and the red panda.
After the tour, The Crown Princess opened Nordens Ark's new enclosure for Persian leopards, which has been created in collaboration with a semi-reserve in Sochi, the Caucasus. When the Persian leopards from Nordens Ark give birth, they will be taken to the semi-reserve. When they in turn give birth, their offspring will be released into the wild.
After lunch, which was served in the Tiger House, the official festivities began. The anniversary programme took place on the new Zooliden stage. The master of ceremonies was Mark Levengood, and the programme included music from the Gothenburg Opera children's choir and a performance by Claes Eriksson from the comedy group Galenskaparna. Mattias Klum presented the Hasselblad Foundation's stipend in nature photography to Denise Eriksson and Jonathan Stenvall.
The Crown Princess's day at Nordens Ark concluded with a visit to the feed kitchen, where the animals' food is prepared. The same building also houses the veterinary clinic, where veterinary assistant Elin Eriksson Byröd spoke about the work involved in looking after the animals.
Nordens Ark is a privately run non-profit foundation that works to give endangered animals a future. Nordens Ark carries out breeding, rearing, research and education, and works to spread awareness of biological diversity. Much of its work takes place in the field, both in Sweden and abroad.
Since the year 2000, around 300 mammals and birds born at Nordens Ark have been released into the wild, including otters in the Netherlands, European wild cats in Germany, and lynxes in Poland. Swedish populations have also been boosted with more than 150 peregrine falcons and around 10,000 amphibians.
The Crown Princess has been patron of Nordens Ark since 1989, and visited in 2008 to open the wetlands house and again in 2009 when she opened a breeding facility for lesser white-fronted geese.
Nordens Ark is located at Åby Manor in Bohuslän. Stone Age graves and rock carvings on the ground show that mankind has lived here for thousands of years. Åby Manor is one of the oldest manors in the province of Bohuslän. Letters dating back to 1307 show that the Norwegian King Haakon V stayed at the manor.
The King opens Nordens Ark in 1989.