After completion of the animal care training at the secondary agricultural school Mary Vriens began an internship at Blijdorp Zoo in 1976. She has passed her 40th anniversary of working at the Zoo. She has cared for a large
variety of animals, from birds and small mammals to elephants and gorillas. Mary has also worked in the education department and the botanical department. She is very versatile and has extensive experience in the rearing of young animals. At present she works
in Amazonica, where she takes care of both plants and animals.
With her partner Henk Zwartepoorte she also cares for an extensive collection of reptiles at home for more then 28 years. Their communal dream of maintaining and cultivating
highly endangered reptiles, became reality with the creation of foundation Reherp. Henk was outwardly the face of Reherp, but Mary was the hidden force in the background. Now that Henk is no longer with us, it is her goal to make their dream come true: to
make ReHerp to a succes and to continue this magnificent work.
'Wild fauna and flora are globally are under severe pressure.
Endangered reptile and amphibian species require conservation and recovery measures.
That is exactly what ReHerp is aiming for. I will use my long
term Rotterdam Zoo experience and together with the passioned ReHerp team we will achieve our goals.'