01 28/01/2011

Chester Zoo staff go ape in run for charity

Staff and friends of Chester Zoo will don gorilla outfits for a charity race to raise awareness of endangered apes. 

 The team of 18, which includes Director General Mark Pilgrim, are running the BUPA Great Manchester Run in May in support of the 2011 EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Ape Campaign, which aims to raise awareness and help protect endangered apes in the wild.

There are six species of great ape and 16 species of gibbon, all under threat from hunting, deforestation and disease. Without awareness and funding to tackle the problems facing these species, they could soon become extinct. 

Cat Barton, Assistant Conservation Officer said:

"Almost all species of ape are now on the brink of extinction and urgent action is desperately needed.

"That’s why we’ve all decided to take on this exciting challenge – to raise awareness and funds for these amazing animals.

"A few of the team will be aptly dressed, so be sure to keep an eye out for the ‘apes’ and their keepers running around Manchester".

Scott Wilson, Conservation Officer added:

"I run regularly but it’s going to be much harder wearing the hot and heavy gorilla costume."

Others taking part include Scott Wilson, Yvette Foulds, Nick Davis, Andrea Fidgett, Claudine Gibson, Suzanne Turnock, Sonya Hill, Emma Jones, Rachael Wheatley, Lizzie Bowen, Fiona Howe, Mark Sparrow, Matt Davies, Deborah Goff, Shane Goff, James Chatterton.

To support the ‘Chester Zoo’s Apes’ team please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Apes2011