As well as forming a popular private island escape for the rich and famous, Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island also forms an exotic refuge for a host of endangered animals.
Never far away from the headlines, Sir Richard Branson’s British Virgin Island home is a private island synonymous with celebrity gossip. Yet Necker Island is much more than simply a party island, as Sir Richard Branson proved when he opened the doors of his ostentatious abode to Bloomberg News earlier this week.
As well as being the go-to destination for the likes of One Direction star Harry Styles and British fashion icon Kate Moss, Necker Island also forms home to almost 300 species of endangered animals, including – but by no means limited to – a colorful collection of imperiled primates (including the extremely rare Red Ruff Lemur), a host of birds and even a Galapagos tortoise.
For Branson, saving animals is both a passion and a crusade – the Virgin boss has invested hundreds and thousands of dollars on his conservation project over the years – an investment which is already beginning to pay dividends, with many of the animals residing on his 74 acre island truly beginning to thrive in their new surroundings.
“We’ve taken them from zoos, where they weren’t breeding and have given then lots more space,” said Sir Richard in his interview with Bloomberg News. “We’re now proud to say that they’re breeding well.”
One of the island’s biggest success stories to date is without a doubt that of the scarlet ibis –gorgeous tropical bird with a long bill and flaming plumage once native to the Caribbean. All but extinct when Branson arrived on his island in 1979, the British businessman has since succeeded in hatching the first scarlet ibis egg here in over 100 years. But his plans go much further than that…
“If we succeed in breeding enough of the birds here, it won’t be long until they spread out and fly to the other islands. Hopefully one day, the scarlet ibis and the white ibis will be found all over the British Virgin Islands and beyond.” It’s a big ask, but if anyone has got the willpower to turn these worlds into actions – it’s Richard Branson. The Private Island News team wishes him all the best!
To watch Richard Branson’s exclusive interview with Bloomberg news, click here or to book a stay on Richard Branson’s paradisiacal private island, head over to Vladi Private Islands’ Necker Island space.