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Supporting animal conservation

By janwooster  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

zoo wine

CHEERS: Left to right, Jenny Paton from Paignton Zoo, Hugh Elliott of Winesolution, photographer Caroline Tout

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A WINE merchant is raising money for conservation with a new range of wines.

Small independent wine merchant and wholesaler Winesolution of Taunton is donating 10p to Paignton Zoo for every bottle sold from their Dulce range of wines.

Owner Hugh Elliott said: “We have developed our own range of sweet wines, called Dulce. We have photos of animals on the labels, so we thought it would be a great idea to link up with a wildlife charity. Paignton Zoo was the natural choice.”

The photos for the labels were taken by wildlife photographer Caroline Tout

Paignton Zoo fundraiser Jenny Paton said: “This is a great way to raise money for conservation. Every time you raise a glass you’ll be helping wildlife. Drink responsibly and save species.”

Hugh said: “Learning about endangered species brings you down to earth with a bump, in terms of the need for conservation, environmental understanding and the global responsibility we all have.

“Paignton Zoo has long been involved with conservation at an international level, and plays a vital educational role at a local level in the UK.”

The labels feature an orang utan from Sumatra, a leopard from India, a black headed heron from South Africa and a Polar bear from the Arctic.

The zoo, a registered charity, runs its SOS Club for corporate supporters.

Also, the shops at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park and Living Coasts in Torquay are believed to be among the first in the UK to stock Dalit candles, a new range made by the untouchables of India.

Paignton Zoo’s Paul Bellingham said: “Candles are part of the magic of midwinter. These candles look and smell wonderful, but they also help the untouchables. We sell them to raise money for wildlife conservation, but every sale helps vulnerable people, too.”

The candle pots are hand crafted in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai by skilled Dalit potters. The work is considered lowly employment under the caste system of India. The pots are filled with blended beeswax.

Paul said: “We aim to sell fair and ethical items which are good for people and the environment. Our profits then go to wildlife conservation, so it’s a double whammy.

“Wildlife conservation is as much about people as it is plants and animals, because wherever you have threatened species you have struggling people — and they also need to survive.”

The Dalit company is committed to raising awareness of the plight of the Dalit people. The caste system limits the opportunities of the 250 million Dalits — also known as untouchables or outcastes — for decent education, health care and employment.

All profits go to a charity called Life Association, which works with the poor of India, providing care for orphans and building schools.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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