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Special thanks from Twycross Zoo

Monkey

Zoo thanks donors and makes new appeal to local gardeners

Twycross Zoo wishes to thank all of its suppliers and donors who have contributed to the zoo’s upkeep and animal welfare throughout 2015. The zoo is a registered charity receiving no government funding and is therefore heavily reliant on visitors, donations, grants and benefactors to help maintain its vital conservation work. As 2016 gets underway, the zoo is appealing to local green-fingered folk who can help provide tasty treats for its animals when clearing their gardens.

Every year the zoo gratefully receives important supplies and donations from organisations big and small up and down the country, as well as hosting team building workshops for local companies who help out at the zoo for a day. For example, in 2015 Leicestershire Police donated a significant number of specialist lighting systems seized from illegal cannabis farms, to the zoo’s Butterfly Forest to help maintain the tropical plants and species living in it. The RAF supplied a number of old cargo nets to be hung inside animal enclosures, such as the orangutans, for them to climb and swing from. Local garden centres brought surplus supplies of untreated Christmas trees to the zoo in January, providing the animals with climbing frames, scratch posts, hiding spots and alpine snacks!

When it comes to food, Twycross Zoo’s animals are well stocked with generous supplies from Ocado as part of its efforts to reduce food waste. The company regularly delivers fruit and vegetables to the zoo which make up a significant part of its ape, monkey and lemur diets, while local farmers have been donating bales of hay to the elephants, goats and sheep. This food is chopped and prepared in Twycross Zoo’s brand new animal kitchens, funded by a kind donation and fitted with donated kitchen and catering equipment. Lintbells, makers of animal care supplements kindly gave the zoo discounted skincare products for some its animals, including Biddy the Gorilla to help maintain her coat and skin.

Dr Charlotte Macdonald, Director of Life Sciences says, “We are incredibly grateful for all of the kind donations that the zoo receives from visitors and organisations each year. They make a real difference to the lives of our animals and their conservation, and help our staff maintain their world-class care.”

In 2016 Twycross Zoo is asking its supporters to donate items from its Amazon Wish List that go directly towards maintaining enclosures and providing the animals with hours of enrichment and entertainment. Items range from boomer balls for bonobos, bubble makers for the penguin pool, catnip for the snow leopards and bird feeders for the parrots, to drills and ladders to help the keepers fix items in and around enclosures. The zoo is also interested in hearing from local gardeners who may have surplus branches and foliage, known as browse, in their gardens that would be suitable for animals such as the giraffes.

Dr Macdonald continues, “Our male giraffes Brad, Setanta and Epesi need browse leaves and branches as part of their diet, which we hang up high in their house for them to strip. Plants such as nettles, hawthorn and fruit trees are all used from around our zoo site, but are in less supply in the winter. If anyone local to the zoo is clearing out their gardens or allotments and thinks they have some we would be very interested in hearing from them.”

Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10.00 to 17.00. For more information and to book tickets visit www.twycrosszoo.org or call 0844 474 1777.