That depends what it is! We are a specialist collection, so we will probably always favour big cats and animals from Madagascar. This allows us to develop a high level of expertise in their care. We also have to be aware of the size of the zoo - we do not have the physical room for animals such as elephants and giraffes that need very large enclosures.
Sometime we decide we do want a certain type of animal, but have obstacles to work past. We need to find an individual who is able to come to the zoo, and we need to know all about them. We need to make sure we have suitable accommodation for them, including company if they are social animals. If they are coming from abroad we will also need to arrange their quarantine.
We are a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
, who encourage zoos to loan and give their animals to each other. They can help us find animals if we need a certain type. We are also members of several breeding programmes, and sometimes the studbook holder for a particular species will ask zoos to send animals to other institutions in the hope of matchmaking.
As you see, it's a very complicated business!