24 Jul 2018

Fans of the zoo could get their hands on anything from a sign urging people not to feed the penguin to a wooden chimpanzee which once provided a welcome to the original primate house, built by zoo founder George Mottershead.

The auction will be powered by the eBay for Charity programme and all money raised will help to prevent extinction via one of the zoo’s 80 global conservation projects, which are working to protect threatened species around the world.  The Me, You & The Zoo sale starts on July 23 with lots starting at just £2.50. Auctions will continue throughout August. Rose Gelder, fundraiser at the zoo, said:

With big changes happening at the zoo, we’ve been busy creating lots of new signage to let our visitors know what’s what. But we haven’t forgotten about the old signs that people have come to know and love! We have a huge collection of statues, signage and memorabilia saved up, and we’ll be giving enthusiasts the chance to own their own piece of zoo history.From profiles of species such as Andean bears, condors and golden mantella frogs to conservation messages, there’s something for every fan of Chester Zoo in our collection. Who wouldn’t want a beady a beady-eyed resin model caiman crocodile which once greeted visitors in the Tropical Realm or a cast of the right foot and right hand of a buffy-headed capuchin monkey?In all shapes and sizes; from mammals to birds to plants. You name it, we’ve got it.

Fundraisers from the zoo have identified a number of other special items for bidders to look out for. These include:1. A large chimpanzee sign from the chimpanzee house, which was opened by Princess Diana in 1989.2. A giant condor from the zoo’s Condor Cliffs aviary, opened by the Duke of Westminster in 1996.3. A wooden plaque to mark the opening of Realm of the Red Ape, the most cutting-edge orangutan habitat of its time, opened by TV personality Nick Knowles in 2007.4. A clock which told visitors what time the zoo’s famous Tropical Realm was due to close, used throughout the 1990s and 2000s.5. Each of the individual letters making up the words Buffy Headed Capuchins which used to hang proudly above the species’ habitat.6. The largest sign, measuring 1.2m by 1.09m, detailing how frogs feet are adapted to help them leap.

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