AWARD-winning conservation charity, Twycross Zoo, this week welcomed VIP guests to an exclusive event to celebrate the launch of its brand new state-of-the art habitat, Chimpanzee Eden.
The event was held as a thank you to friends of the charity for their vital support in the creation of the new £3.5 million habitat, with guests treated to afternoon tea as well as tours of the chimpanzees’ amazing new home.
Speaking at the event, Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo, said: “Twycross Zoo has dedicated years in the thinking, months in the building and countless hours in husbandry to prepare our troop of chimpanzees to live together as one large group and now we are delighted to share Chimpanzee Eden!
All of the team are absolutely thrilled with the result but, more importantly, the chimpanzees are thoroughly enjoying their new home. The dream has always been to see all the animals living and behaving as closely to how they would in the wild. At Twycross Zoo, we place a strong emphasis on creating naturalistic habitats and Chimpanzee Eden was designed with this in mind; providing a larger, more complex space for our chimps to interact together.”
Chimps at Twycross Zoo recently completed the move to Chimpanzee Eden and are already enjoying the new surroundings, swinging, climbing and playing through both indoor and outdoor sections of the immersive, jungle-like habitat.
At 11m high, the semi-translucent habitat features tropical and native shrubs, with glazing and discreet openings allowing visitors to see chimps close up as they pass through the habitat. Decked with imagery of chimps and forests in Cameroon, where the Zoo’s partner Ape Action Africa works to rescue and protect chimpanzees (and gorillas), Chimpanzee Eden is a spectacle to behold.
Continued Sharon: “Zoos like Twycross are living sanctuaries, playing a vital role in conservation, as many species across the world face an extinction crisis in the wild. By providing a symbolic ‘ark’, not only do zoos take care of endangered animals, but they participate in carefully coordinated, international breeding programmes. This vital work ensures that there are genetically healthy, self-sustaining populations, to provide the potential to rewild these species in the future. The bottom line is that we need to protect, invest and support good zoos if we want the natural world to survive to face the future.”
Chimpanzee Eden comes as part of Twycross Zoo’s ambitious £55m Masterplan to become a national conservation organisation and world-class visitor attraction. At the heart of the ambitious development plans lies a passionate commitment to the fundamental importance of environmental education and practical wildlife conservation, which is shared by the whole team at Twycross Zoo.
Twycross Zoo is home to over 500 animals from around 125 species and open to the public from 10.00 to 18.00, 364 days a year. For more information and to book tickets visit www.twycrosszoo.org or call 0844 474 1777.