Having worked in the zoo world now for over 43 years there has always been a small number of people who have made an impression on me in this small but dedicated field. John Ellis was definitely one of those.
His passion for birds was infectious, he was always willing to listen to anyone who shared this passion and always willing to pass on any snippet of information he thought would be of help to them. He was never too busy to help.
His knowledge was gained not just by reading about the subject but by actually putting into practice what he had read, what he had heard, but also what his gut feeling told him would be the best way forward.
Many was the time when we would have a discussion about something regarding a species that we believed was either not doing well or could be better maintained. These conversations usually took place on the phone at around 7:00am by which time John had already traveled to his office at London Zoo. I will greatly miss these sometime serious but often light hearted conversations that we used to have.
My sincere condolences go to John McKenna and to John’s family.
Livestock Manager, Paultons Park,
Avicultural Society Council Member,