WE are sorry that John Knowles has felt obliged to resign as honorary director of Marwell Zoo. He set it up in good faith with just grazing and browsing animals, and although we have been at odds for many years with what it has become, he did personally assure me that he would never sell animals to circuses (and by inference we hope, to bad zoos? Although one never knows if they reach them third hand).

So it is with dismay that we read Mr Knowles considers the current chief executive, not being an animal professional, will bring "a more hard-headed approach". If this means putting business and money-making before the welfare of the animals, whether at Marwell or when sold-on, many present donors, fund-raisers and customers may want to reconsider their patronage.

Constant breeding, especially of non-endangered species, has sounded alarm bells with us for many years. What's it for, if not money-making, as few seem to be restored to the wild, just captive, with all the deprivations that entails, for life?

MRS SHEILA CLAYTON, Southampton United Animal Charities.