Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is swinging into action for apes. The zoo is supporting the EAZA (the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Ape Campaign 2011 which aims to raise one million Euros for global ape conservation.
For Ape Month at Paignton Zoo, there will be themed activities throughout the month of May, including special scatter feeds and environmental enrichment for the apes and Meet the Keeper question and answer sessions. Visitors will be able to decorate egg-shaped piñatas with food colouring for a suggested donation of £3 and then see their work given to the animals.
In addition, there will be an Ape and Cake Evening on Thursday, May 19. Guests will enjoy tea or coffee and sample a range of cakes made by zoo staff and volunteers before a walk and talk led by zoo keepers focussing on orangs, gorillas and gibbons.
There will be videos of apes on a big screen, ape-related items on sale and a raffle with prizes including an ape cake. In addition, guests will see a special ape-friendly cake being fed to the gibbons. Tickets are £10. The evening starts at 6:30pm. To book, contact Paignton Zoo reception on 0844 474 2222.
A very limited number of Special Ape Days will be run. These will take people behind the scenes to talk to the experts and get closer to some of the apes on site.
Intrepid research student Lewis Rowden is being sponsored to spend 24 hours on the Zoo’s Gorilla Island eating an ape diet from Friday, May 14 to Saturday, May 14. To sponsor him, go to the Just Giving website.
And a life-like, life-size model gorilla collecting box has been installed at the Ape Centre.
Paignton Zoo is home to lowland gorillas, Bornean orangutans and three species of gibbon. The ape family is made up of the great apes – humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang utans – and 16 species of gibbon. All apes are threatened by hunting, deforestation or disease – almost all are either Endangered or Critically Endangered. Paignton Zoo aims to raise £10,000 for the Ape Campaign.