Apes and Grapes will be welcoming guests to Twycross Zoo for a special evening dedicated to the primates and wine this weekend.
As the only place in the UK to feature all four types of great ape and home to a wide collection of gibbons, the zoo will provide the setting for an evening with world-renowned ape conservationists who will be sharing their experience from projects across the globe.
Open only to adults aged 18 years and older, the event includes zoo admission, five wine tasting tickets, free grazing snacks at the zoo’s kiosks and access to the conservation talks.
Among those sharing their knowledge will be Dr Zanna Clay, who will talk about a least known species of great ape. She is representing Lola Ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only bonobo sanctuary which Twycross Zoo actively supports.
A specialist in bonobo behaviour and communication, Dr Clay has studied bonobos and the evolution of empathy in these animals using observational and experimental techniques in both captivity and the wild.
Having worked in Borneo witnessing the orang-utan crisis since 1995, Simon Husson will paint a picture of the many dangers orang-utans face, especially with regards to the loss of their habitat. Mr Husson is a leading expert in orang-utan rehabilitation and reintroduction, as well as the application of nest-survey methods for accurately estimating orang-utan density.
Representing the Borneo Nature Foundation, his talk at the zoo’s Bornean orang-utan enclosure will also provide an update on the development of strategic conservation management plans to protect priority orang-utan populations in Borneo.
Moving on from great apes to lesser apes, Josh Kempinski from Fauna and Flora International is going to share his thoughts on gibbon and forest conservation in Vietnam.
Twycross Zoo supports the Cao-vit gibbon conservation project run by Fauna and Flora International, as the species is one of the most endangered primates in the world.
Mr Kempinski will share updates on this project and give an insight into the importance of working with people living near them to help nature conservation.
The zoo will be open until 9pm for visitors to make the most of the talks and wine tasting, as well as the opportunity to stroll around the zoo and interact with zoo keepers, who will be on hand to answer questions.
Also, the zoo’s education rangers will be showing various artefacts, such as ape skulls, and explaining how poaching, fur trade and traditional medicines affect animals in the wild. The View Restaurant in the Himalaya Centre will serve a specially prepared evening menu for this event.
Dr Matyas Liptovszky, veterinary services manager, said: “We are hoping to highlight the amazing work people carry out to help conserve animal species and their habitat with this event.
"Successful conservation initiatives are long-term projects that rely on support from zoos like Twycross Zoo and it is vital that these activities are successful, if we want to preserve global biodiversity for the future.
“As with every single zoo visit, those who attend our Apes and Grapes evening will help us support the various ape conservation and other projects that Twycross Zoo is involved in.”
The Apes and Grapes evening will take place from 4.30pm to 9pm on Saturday, July 15 and more information is available by calling 0844 474 1777 or visiting www.twycrosszoo.org.
Other events happening at Twycross Zoo
As the summer holidays fast approaches, there is lots of events planned for visitors to Twycross Zoo that the whole family can take advantage of.
The Live Music Nights will start on Saturday, July 22 with soul, Motown, jazz, funk and rock which will be followed by Ska fused with folk, jazz and rock on July 29. The 70s and 80s will be revisited on August 5 and there will be a Brass Band Spectacular on August 12.
Kid’s clubs run throughout the weekends and school holidays offering something for children of all ages to get involved with while visiting the zoo.
Those with a love of creepy crawlies and mini-beasts can make the most of the Biaza Big Bug Bonanza from Monday to Friday, August 7 to 11. Activities throughout the week include bug handling, nature reserve bug hunting visits, making habitats, arts, crafts, honey tasting and art work.
More information on the events at Twycross Zoo are available by clicking here