Zoo Life Magazine - Issue 1

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ON TOP OF THE WORLD How you ca n help us save the planet’s endangered animals

Summer Issue 2021

New s e FMaec ll et a t the lates ls arriva


DREAM JOB Experience a day as a zookeeper and tell all your friends

trunk call Find out about our amazing elephants

Go wild! Ex pl or e a su mm er of fu n, th ri ll s an d am az in g ad ve nt ur es

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Contents 06 SHOPPING

Indulge in some retail therapy and splash out on our fantastic experiences




Bornean orangutans, baby warthogs and lemur pups… come and meet them all


Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild charity supports many projects around the world – including the amazing UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve


We love coming up with creative ways to keep our animals busy – from food puzzles to frozen summer treats


Don’t miss these event highlights at Colchester Zoo – from a terrific twilight safari to a terrifying trail that will scare you out of your skin!

Thanks to your generous donations, we can continue with our work to help endangered animals across the world


Rebecca Moore, Colchester Zoo’s Director of Conservation, Education and Research talks about our efforts to help the planet’s endangered species


African elephant zookeeper Claire Bennett tells us why she loves these magnificent creatures

58 MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Get an annual Zoo Pass and reap the rewards

64 GET EXPLORING Check out our map – you won’t want to miss a thing!


Download the Colchester Zoo App for all you need to help navigate your way around


46 ANIMAL FACT FILES Find out about some of the awesome animals here at Colchester Zoo


Check out a taste-tastic array of food, snacks and refreshments on offer at Colchester Zoo’s outlets


EDITOR Anna-Marie Casas CONTRIBUTOR Amy Smith PHOTOGRAPHY Libby Page , Tom Smith, Josh Dennington, Jamie Reeve, Scott Davey, David Marsay, Micky Andrews ART DIRECTOR Lee Thomas ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Chantell Keston, Debbie Taylor MARKETING CREATIVE MARKETING MANAGER Dominic Littler PUBLISHING PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Clara Deeks MANAGING DIRECTOR Allistair Hunter OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Tracy Norton-Mead

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CONTACT Zoo Life Magazine DS Media, 7 Faraday Close, Oakwood Industrial Estate, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex CO15 4TR


Advertising Enquiries: 01255 221322 Editorial Enquiries: editor@thedsgroup.co.uk Zoo Life Magazine is published by DS Media on behalf of Colchester Zoo. The contents of this magazine must not be reproduced without permission. Zoo Life is available at Colchester Zoo and Sainsbury’s Stanway Superstore, 1 Western Approach, Stanway, Colchester, Essex.

Cover Photograph Josh Dennington

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Welcome Welcome to the first edition of the NEW Colchester Zoo magazine, ‘Zoo Life’! This new look comes after what has been a difficult 18 months for Colchester Zoo due to the pandemic. We spent many months closed, uncertain of what the future might bring, but your support has been unwavering, and we are so pleased to be open once again and enjoying the summer months with you all. Since reopening in April, you may have seen several changes within the zoo! We have added a fantastic new pathway for you to view our African Paddock up close from a whole new angle. We have also been able to introduce you to Mali, the female orangutan, and her daughter, Tatau, who arrived in February this year, during lockdown. As well as welcoming new arrivals, we have also continued to support our UmPhafa Reserve in South Africa and have also more recently been able to give some support to a number of conservation projects through our charity, Action for the Wild, once again, thanks to your support since reopening. We hope as the warmer months continue that you will be able to enjoy the sunshine with us, see some of our spring babies as they learn to become more independent, enjoy an ice cream and explore the wonders of wildlife!

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you soon.

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The Outpost Gift Shop

The Outpost Gift Shop at Colchester Zoo offers a range of homeware and bespoke items, perfect for a souvenir of your day or as a gift for a loved one. Our homeware items are themed to match our WILD days out with animal prints, natural designs and beautiful patterns available across a range of items! From cushions and candles to notepads and canvases. Our bespoke items are designed for you to remember your day out, with our logo embroidered on our own soft toy range, to magnets, keyrings, jewellery and one not to miss… our very own Colchester Zoo Monopoly board! Stop by The Outpost Gift Shop!

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You can also visit The Outpost without entering the zoo, along with the shop’s fantastic Coffee Lounge, making this a fantastic shopping destination.


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Venture behind the scenes and find out just what it takes to care for some of the most incredible creatures on the planet.

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ZOO LIFE SUMMER 2021 SHOPPING • Exclusive access behind the scenes for 3 hours 45 minutes • A voucher for your 1 hour lunch at Penguini’s Restaurant • A souvenir gift • Complimentary entry to the zoo for the whole day

Bursting with big personalities, this experience includes the mighty African elephant! You’ll also have the opportunity to explore behind the scenes with the keepers and meet many other species along the way. Elephants: • Go behind the scenes and tour the Elephant House • Take part in your own private elephant feed Komodo dragons: • Get the opportunity to see the largest lizard in the world • Learn more about another fantastic animal cared for by our reptile care team Cheetahs, hyenas & mandrills: • Meet some of the amazing African species and hear all about them as you go behind the scenes at the Edge of Africa

Embark on a journey around Colchester Zoo and be introduced to a host of exciting animals, including mischievous meerkats, Gelada baboons and many more. Otters, Gelada baboons & meerkats: • Find out all about our otter family from their keepers • Meet the world’s last grass-grazing primate, the Gelada baboons • Join our mob of meerkats and help clean out their ‘Suricata Sands’ exhibit Lemurs: • Meet the leaping lemurs and learn all about this popular species • Help one of the primate keepers in encouraging natural behaviours such as feeding and foraging Anteaters & sun bears: • Go behind the scenes at our bears’ purpose-built facility • See our two anteaters and learn more about them

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Travel around the zoo with our dedicated keepers to meet animals from around the world, including fascinating sealions, inquisitive penguins and many more. Sealions: • Have the amazing opportunity to see a close-up training demo with our sealions Tigers & pygmy hippos: • Meet the Amur tigers and hear about the role we play in conserving this highly endangered species • Help prepare a healthy snack for our cute pygmy hippos Giraffes & red river hogs: • Look up at our tallest animals, the giraffes, while offering them some tasty food • Meet our family of red river hogs and learn more about their personalities

Our Keeper for the Day Experience is open to guests 14 years and over. Anyone aged 14-17 years must be accompanied by an adult who is 18 years or over and paying to participate in the same experience. Price: £210 per person

Don’t forget to collect your special souvenir pack from the Experience Check-In at the end of your day. Passholders SAVE up to £25! Call the Experience Reception with a valid passholder ID to make your booking. This discount is not available online and is not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Visit www.colchester zoo.org for tems and conditions, and essential information before making your booking.

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Bornean Beauties

Three’s not a crowd as orangutans Mali and Tatau join Tiga at Colchester Zoo! We are thrilled that our long-awaited new arrivals, Bornean orangutans Mali and Tatau, are settling in well to their new home in Rajang’s Forest and giving fellow ape Tiga plenty of company. Mali is 25 years-old and mum to eight-year-old daughter, Tatau, and both joined us from Paignton Zoo in Devon. We have really enjoyed watching our gorgeous duo settle in and get to know the Animal Care Team since their arrival in February. Both have fantastic characters – Mali is devoted to her

daughter, enjoys one-onone time with the care team, and loves sipping a fruit tea! Young Tatau, who has been nicknamed ‘Tatti’, is very playful and can’t resist swinging and interacting with the care team. Mali and Tatau have been introduced to our male orangutan, Tiga, who is 20 years-old and had been living on his own since we sadly lost our beloved Rajang at the end of 2018. Orangutans live as solitary animals in the wild, so Tiga hasn’t been too affected by his old friend’s loss, but it’s really great to see him again with not just one companion but two.

Tiga has a gentle and inquisitive nature and has accepted his new roommates very quickly. Mali can often be spotted foraging for food and enjoying enrichment activities with him. As a more mature orangutan, she is aware that Tiga is the dominant male and happily gives him space when he needs it. Tatau enjoys watching Tiga and observing how he solves puzzles and enrichment challenges that our staff provide, often trying to mimic him.

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Going the whole hog! ? Did you know Bornean orangutans eat more than 300 types of fruit and vegetation, bark, insects, and eggs They enjoy making nests to sleep in – our male, Tiga, is particularly skilled at doing this Orangutans can live for around 50 years

Meet our new baby warthogs Zuri and Zuma, born to first-time parents Hermione and Moja! Mum, Hermione, arrived at Colchester Zoo in 2019 to join Dad, Moja, who was born here five years earlier. After the recent arrival of their piglets, Moja initially gave his partner and piglets their space, but he is now a hands-on dad and they have become a solid family unit.

Sadly, this species is listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN✹ Red List of Threatened Species, mainly due to destruction of their habitat

Zuri and Zuma can often be seen outside exploring with their proud parents as well as snuggling up with their dad for a well-earned rest.

✹International Union for Conservation of Nature

? Did you know Our warthogs are fed a mixture of fruit, vegetables, hay and pellets, which ensures they get all the vitamins and minerals they need Fortunately, warthogs are currently listed as ‘least concern’ on the IUCN Red List due to the species being widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa

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Our ring-tailed lemurs have welcomed some additions to the troop with the safe arrival of two newborn pups.

Ringing the changes

First, our female, Andro, gave birth to a single pup and then, the very next day, experienced mum, Madison, delivered another baby. Both little ones are doing extremely well since their births in April and can be seen on the backs of their mothers or hitching a lift with other helpful members of the troop. As they grow stronger, they will increasingly explore away from their mums, trying different types of food and copying others in the group as they learn to climb and leap. Ring-tailed lemurs, which are the most recognisable of the lemur species due to the black and white ringed tails that they use to mark their territory with scent, are listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List.

? Did you know Crowned lemurs come from the northern tip of Madagascar and live on a diet of fruit and leaves

Crowned jewels We’re excited to announce that our crowned lemur couple, Triksie and Ala, have welcomed their second baby together.

Born in April, this is only the second lemur of its type to be born at Colchester Zoo. Mum, Triksie, arrived in 2018, joined soon after by our male, Ala.

The pair have been together ever since and in 2020 they welcomed their first baby.

Mum, Triksie, would have gone through a gestation period of about 125 days This species of lemur is currently listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red list due to habitat loss, mining and illegal logging. Sadly, they are also hunted for food and the pet trade

As second-time parents, the pair seem very adept raising their latest arrival, who is already showing confidence and learning how to be more independent while copying older brother, Arne.

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Call of the wild Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild charity supports several projects in Africa, including the amazing UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in South Africa. 16 www.colchesterzoo.org

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The UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve encompasses 6,000 hectares supporting a wide range of habitats, from acacia savannah and bushveld to mountainous terrain. Due to previous agricultural practices, many of the natural inhabiting species were lost. Although some mammal populations remained and have thrived since the reserve was established, additional species have now been released and UmPhafa has become home to a wide range of fauna. Location: Colenso, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa Support started: 2005 Mission: To create a sustainable future while maintaining social responsibility and promoting environmental regeneration and conservation. Species: Zebra, giraffe, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, nyala, impala, common reedbuck, waterbuck, eland, duiker, mountain reedbuck, suni, blesbok, kudu, warthog, serval, ostrich, leopard tortoise, African rock python, spotted hyena, leopard, black-backed jackal, bushpig, and caracal. Background: Historically, about 35 species of mammals inhabited this area, but many have disappeared. Action for the Wild is now establishing a release programme for the reserve – to rehabilitate the land by returning native species lost through previous farming methods. The charity will translocate species onto the reserve to recreate the historical diversity of mammals and to help secure their future.

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Weaver birds

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Dream team Meet husband-and-wife team, Anthony Smith and Amanda Warren, who have recently joined the team at Colchester Zoo’s UmPhafa Reserve. Anthony and Amanda, who bring a wealth of knowledge and talent, have spent time getting to grips with the reserve and immersing themselves in the UmPhafa lifestyle.


After many years of working in corporate finance in the UK, Amanda was given the opportunity to take her life in a new direction and had a dream of experiencing Africa. Deciding to become a volunteer in Zimbabwe, she then managed a conservation volunteer programme in South Africa. After acquiring a Professional Guiding qualification, she spent time working in Zululand where she met and assisted her husband in a reserve management role. Amanda is excited to be living and working alongside Anthony and the team at UmPhafa, and looks forward to further developing and maintaining this beautiful reserve.


Anthony is a local with an international work history and a long career in health and hospitality. With a passion for wildlife conservation, he was given an opportunity to combine the two into a career. His role for the past 10 years has been as a general manager in a ‘Big 5’ game reserve in Zululand, where the emphasis is on protection, preservation and rehabilitation of priority species, while educating visitors. Anthony brings a wealth of diversity in knowledge and experience to the role and looks forward to working alongside his wife and the UmPhafa team in keeping the project moving forward in both education and conservation.

greater kudu

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All donations are gratefully received and will go a long way towards assisting many elements of important conservation work being undertaken on the reserve.

This will buy a pack of rechargeable batteries for our camera traps – these have motion sensors to detect the movements of the reserve’s more elusive and nocturnal animals.


This amount will pay for a bag of natural minerals to supplement the diet for UmPhafa’s wildlife species.


One day’s wages for three field rangers will be funded to patrol the reserve and protect the wildlife from poachers - our rangers play a vital role assisting the management in security of the reserve, monitoring high-priority species and keeping an eye on flora and fauna.


The cost of one impala to release onto the reserve! Impala is an important species in the African ecosystem and helps with the re-colonisation of other species within the reserve. Alternatively, £100 will enable us to purchase a pair of binoculars or two torches for the field rangers.


This will fund a camera trap which can be used to monitor the elusive carnivores, such as leopard and hyena. Information gathered from the camera traps can be used to create a species list for certain areas and distribution maps for the animals.

UmPhafa needs your help!

gir aff e


You can help the UmPhafa Reserve with its important work by making a donation.

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African apes and monkeys

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Enriching lives

We love coming up with creative ways to keep our animals busy – from food puzzles to frozen summer treats!

Our animals experience the highest standards of care at Colchester Zoo, which means they often have plenty of free time on their hands and feet to sit back and relax. That’s why our Animal Care Team are always coming up with inventive ways to enrich their lives by helping to fill their spare time with a host of stimulating activities. Unlike in the wild, our animals’ food and water is supplied, territory is already marked out, social groupings are usually fairly stable and structured, there are no predators to avoid, and quite often mates are selected by our team of experts. With all those spare hours to while away, the animals need new and challenging activities which is where the role of enrichment comes in. Colchester Zoo’s enrichment programme aims to provide a mentally and physically enriching environment specific to each species in our care. With knowledge and a little imagination, there are literally thousands of ways in which our team improve the daily lives of our animals.

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Photograph Jamie Reeve

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How we do it

Photograph Tom Smith

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Colchester Zoo’s five main enrichment areas are:


This is the most widely used method which prolongs feeding times and can be achieved by dividing the animal’s daily diet into three or four separate feeds. It can be as simple as leaving fruit and vegetables whole and throwing them onto a roof so that the animals need to pull the food through a mesh. Or the food can be cut very small and scattered through the enclosure so that the animals have to forage. Other methods include hiding food in boxes or paper sacks and hanging it from pulley systems and wires.


Enrichment can encompass any of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. The most common form used is olfactory enrichment, which harnesses sense of smell. Items such as herbs and spices, perfume and deodorant, catnip for cats or even toothpaste or mouthwash can be dotted around the animals’ home. This activity will normally encourage animals to mark out their territories with their own scent.


This type of enrichment which is aimed at providing mental stimulation, involves introducing novel objects to occupy the animal’s time, such as Boomer balls, Kong toys, tyres, cardboard tubes and firefighters’ hoses. It encourages an animal to think about how they might access food hidden inside each object.


This involves housing animals of different species with others that they would naturally associate with or encounter in the wild. For example, this can be seen in the variety of species that share the Kingdom of the Wild paddock. We also placed mirrors around the lake and possible nesting areas for our pretty flamingos to make the birds believe there were more of them than there actually are, as this gives them the confidence to breed.


The habitat of animals plays an important role in their welfare, meeting their physical requirements and providing a positive environment for them to live. Our enrichment programme includes enhancing spaces to provide mental stimulation, hiding food in spaces in the enclosure, and adding enrichment objects to encourage natural behaviours.

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Ice, ice baby However, our Animal Care Team need to ensure that they stay cool and hydrated when the sun gets too hot and they do this by creating special ice blocks, filled with tasty snacks. As well as providing a cool and delicious treat, the ice blocks also provide a valuable form of enrichment for the animals, encouraging natural behaviours and stimulating them.

Home tweet home

Our lemurs and mangabey monkeys love licking their ice blocks to get to the frozen kiwi and sunflower seeds, while the otters cannot resist tucking into blocks of frozen fish which they chase around their pool to savour when they melt. For the larger animals, such as our elephants and sun bears, the team create much bigger ice blocks by using huge buckets as moulds which can be hidden around the enclosures to challenge them. Sometimes they just can’t wait for them to melt and stand on the blocks to crush them – how cool is that?

We’re thrilled that our Victoria crowned pigeon have finally moved into their new home, Feathers of the Forest.

Our Victoria crowned pigeon family is made up of mum, Violet, and dad, Ozzy, along with their son Barry, who hatched in 2019, and daughter, Sonya, who came along last year. They have all been busy exploring, selecting new nest sites, and enjoying the chance to see visitors up closer than ever before.

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X Did

They have a large crest of feathers on their head that can be raised like a fan – giving them their name.


This fantastic area, which was previously Butterfly Glade, has been adapted to make a wonderful walkthrough area that allows great views of these stunning birds while enriching their lives.

Victoria crowned pigeons are the largest species of pigeon and monogamous, meaning they mate for life.

you know?


Our animals love nothing more than being outside during the summer months and making the most of the warm weather – just like we do!

Pigeons, along with flamingos, are unusual among birds in that they produce milk to feed their chicks which forms the complete diet of nestlings during the first few days of their life.

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ARE YOU PLANNING TO MOVE DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? Traditionally the school holidays are when families try to move, particularly if they are aiming to move catchment. Moving during the school holidays also allows your children to settle into their new surroundings prior to starting back and offers you more family time. Key to moving on schedule is good communication with your conveyancer. Even when receiving a quote, it’s wise to tell the enquires team of your desired time schedule. This will allow your law firm (we hope us) to give you feedback on how achievable it is.

HOW LONG DOES CONVEYANCING TAKE? At present our clients are moving home within 8 to 10 weeks, however it’s always worth factoring in a couple more weeks for hiccups. The length of your chain is also a factor, with a longer chain normally taking a more time to complete.

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PLANET S.O.S Thanks to your generous donations, we can continue with our work to help endangered animals across the world. Colchester Zoo has always cared passionately about the planet’s threatened species and created its charity, Action for the Wild, to assist projects worldwide. It provides both financial and technical assistance and aims to raise awareness among local people in community conservation programmes, as well as supporting conservation research. Since 2004, when Action for the Wild achieved charitable status, more than £3.3 million has been donated to a broad spectrum of conservation projects worldwide, encompassing a wide range of species from orangutans to vultures, hornbills to Komodo dragons, and elephants to moths.

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Fisher’s Estuarine Moth

Organisation/project: Fisher’s Estuarine Moth Breeding Programme Location: Colchester Zoo, Essex Support started: April 2008 Species: Fisher’s Estuarine Moth Mission: To provide a readily available supply of Fisher’s Estuarine Moths for introduction at newly created sites to ensure the long-term survival of this species.

In early 2020 pre-pandemic, Action for the Wild was able to provide donations to five conservation projects in addition to our sole funding of the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve throughout the year. Here follows details of these projects. Now that Colchester Zoo is open again, we are once again fundraising for our partnered conservation programmes and, we hope that by 2022, we will be in a position to distribute funds to more of our previously supported projects.

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Organisation/project: Red Panda Network Location: Nepal Support started: 2014 Species: Red panda Mission: The Red Panda Network is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities. Donations: Annual donations help sponsor a forest guardian to monitor and protect red panda habitat, as well as educate communities on the importance of the red panda.

Red panda

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sun bear and moon bear Organisation/project: Free the Bears Location: Laos and Cambodia Support started: 2011 Species: Malayan sun bear and moon bear Mission: The aim of the Free the Bears fund is to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world. Donations: Annual donations help develop the rescue centres and support their work with the bears.

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AFRICA Action for the Wild supports several projects in Africa, in addition to the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in South Africa. AEECL (Association Européenne pour l’Étude et la Conservation des Lémuriens) AEECL aims to advance the understanding and conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs through scientific research, captive propagation and protection of their natural habitat. In 2020, Action for the Wild contributed to this lemur consortium by donating our membership fee.


The Sahamalaza region in Madagascar has been the AEECL’s focus of scientific and conservation interest since 1988. The AEECL aims to protect the habitat and ecosystems within the Sahamalaza peninsula, monitor and increase lemur populations, and be a strong conservation ambassador for the area. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic halted many of the 2020 plans AEECL had put in place for the year. When work commences, AEECL will be hiring a Field Station Manager to oversee activities. In March, the AEECL distributed the subsidy funding for community teachers and the scholarship for students at the high school in Maromandia in order to stabilise the education system. By investing in local communities through education, resource management and communication, this helps ensure the communities of today can forge a safe haven for wildlife tomorrow.

Organisation/project: AEECL Location: Madagascar Support started: 2004-2014 and 2017 onwards Species: Lemur species Mission: To advance the understanding and conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs through scientific research, captive propagation, and protection of their natural habitats. Donations: Donations pay for a Lemur conservation association membership.

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Gelada baboons

Organisation/project: Gelada Baboon Project Location: Ethiopia Support started: 2018 Species: Gelada baboons Mission: Contribute to the improvement of the conservation of wild geladas in Ethiopia. Donations: To help improve the knowledge and ultimately conservation of this species in the wild.

Gelada baboon project The Gelada Research Project aims to contribute to the improvement of the conservation of wild gelada baboons in Ethiopia. In 2020, Action for the Wild donated £1,695 to support this research. The current status of wild gelada baboon populations isn’t known; the conservation status of this species needs to be properly assessed. Nothing is known with respect to population structure, welfare condition and behaviour of geladas that live outside of protected areas and that are affected by severe human pressure.

This project aims to: • increase understanding of how human presence and activities impact on ecology and behaviour of gelada baboons in two unprotected sites • increase awareness of environmental issues, capacity building and ownership of the local community managing the areas • increase the scientific and technical knowledge of the species to be used for management purposes

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Australian bush fire crisis It is estimated that more than one billion native animals were affected by the drought and bushfire crisis throughout Australia in 2019-2020, with many injured, having lost their homes and facing a tough time ahead while food resources are low. Colchester Zoo’s charity Action for the Wild undertook fundraising to send donations across to Australia to assist conservation organisations in their work to rescue wildlife. There was an urgent need for immediate support with placing rescued native animals for treatment as well as a longer-term requirement to return healthy animals to regenerated habitats and revive and sustain populations of wildlife in affected areas. Our funds have been sent to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund, with 100 per cent of funds raised used to support wildlife, in consultation with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to ensure it is most effectively assisting injured wildlife and their habitat.

Situated in the town of lovely Lavenham, The Great House is positioned in the perfect location, with charming surroundings of medieval properties and countryside walks.

After a busy day of exploring historical Suffolk, sit back and relax in one of our beautiful bedrooms, ready to snuggle down for the night with a loved one.

Dine alfresco on our terrace with a glass of Champagne and lunch from our three-course set menu or try something new with our five-course experience dinner.

Sit back and relax...

info@greathouse.co.uk • 01787 247431 • www.greathouse.co.uk • Market Place, Lavenham, Suffolk CO10 9QZ

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Operation conservation In the first of a two-part focus on conservation and sustainability, Rebecca Moore, Colchester Zoo’s Director of Conservation, Education and Research writes about her team’s efforts to help animals at risk around the world through Action for the Wild.

How it all started

Colchester Zoo has supported conservation under the umbrella of Action for the Wild since 1993. In 2004, Action for the Wild achieved charitable status and I was employed in 2005 to lead on the conservation work of the zoo. Each year, Action for the Wild supports a range of conservation projects linked to our collection of animals at the zoo – our animals at the zoo are ambassadors for their wild counterparts, helping us to raise awareness of the threats the animals face in the wild and much needed funds to promote their survival.


Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild charitable trust is dedicated to assisting conservation projects worldwide. We support and encourage conservation projects that address conservation priorities at both local and global levels. This is achieved through the provision of financial and technical assistance.

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Aims and Objectives • Action for the Wild aims to provide financial assistance and technical advice to in situ projects in order to support the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. • The charity aims to provide habitat and survival aids for native species and support nature projects nationally. • Action for the Wild aims to raise awareness and respect for nature through formal and informal education programmes. • Action for the Wild aims to encourage and support scientific and quantitative research work.

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Malayan sun bear Classified as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild has supported Free the Bears since 2011 and has donated over £48,000 to date. Free the Bears works to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world by offering a safe sanctuary for bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Since 2003, more than 80 bears have been confiscated in Laos [Southeast Asia] from poachers and wildlife traders, or have been donated by people who had previously kept them as trophy pets. Our funds go towards the development of a world-class bear sanctuary in Laos; to address housing needs for groups of rescued sun bears and to improve management of natural resources across the site. Given a lack of facilities available for endangered and trafficked wildlife in the country, Free the Bears expects additional demands to be placed upon the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary moving forward, so this is a priority project for Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild to support, especially as our two resident sun bears, Jo Jo and Srey-Ya, were rescued by Free the Bears from the pet trade in Cambodia.

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Bornean Orangutan Classified as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild has supported the Orangutan Foundation since 2010 and has donated £47,500 to date. The Orangutan Foundation is working to save Asia’s endangered great ape by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education. The Orangutan Foundation has been supporting an orangutan reintroduction programme since 2000, working to release translocated and rescued orangutans into the wild. Our funds have gone towards costs associated with these translocations and also the veterinarian’s salary. All the orangutans that are rescued are given full health checks to minimise disease transmission into the wild; having a vet and facilities ensures the orangutans can be monitored and treated if necessary in the field without added stress of having to move them to urban facilities.

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Cape Vulture

Classified as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild has supported VulPro since 2015 and has donated £21,000 to date. VulPro deals with every aspect of vulture conservation, aiming to advance knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of African vulture populations. Our funds go towards vulture monitoring expenses related to monitoring of core colonies and to powerline sweeps below colonies. Surveys of powerlines determine the usage of these line structures by vultures and the degree of threat these structures present to them. By monitoring, VulPro gains an understanding of the population trends of each vulture colony and can use such results to determine the focus of their conservation activities.

The impact of Covid-19 Colchester Zoo and Action for the Wild depend on our visitor income in order to provide the highest standard of welfare for the animals in our collection and to fund our global conservation projects. With closure of Colchester Zoo, our fundraising efforts changed to focus on an emergency fund to keep the zoo running whilst vital visitor income was lost. Throughout the closure, we continued with our support of the Fisher’s Estuarine Moth breeding and release project and the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve. We are solely responsible for UmPhafa which also lost its income stream of interns and the staff and animals on the reserve

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completely rely on Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild for support. We, however, tried to reduce all expenditure such that only essential projects were conducted throughout 2020/21. Before the zoo closed in March 2020, we were able to provide our pledged donations to those conservation projects we planned to support between January to March. However, from March, we terminated project support and re-focused our fundraising efforts. Now that Colchester Zoo is open again, we are once again fundraising for our partnered conservation programmes and we hope that by 2022, we will be in a position to distribute funds to these projects.

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Komodo dragon Classified as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

How you can help There are various ways visitors can help with our conservation efforts. • Make a donation or fundraise for Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild: www.actionforthewild.org • Purchase a Conservationist Adoption: www.colchesterzoo.org • Nominate Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild and donate through Amazon Smile when you make your usual purchase through Amazon. • Become an intern on UmPhafa: www.umphafa.org • Purchase an item on our UmPhafa Amazon wish list: www.umphafa.org

Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild has supported the Komodo Survival Program since 2006 and has donated £12,500 to date. The Komodo Survival Program is working to protect the remnant Komodo dragons population in Wae Wuul on the island of Flores, Indonesia. The project works to raise awareness and build capacity in the community, involve community members in protection and conservation activities and conduct patrolling and law enforcement.

Did you know? Since Action for the Wild became a charity, we have donated over £3.3 million to conservation projects around the world and support 10 to 20 projects each year (excluding pandemic years).

Training in wildlife monitoring techniques is an essential part of this project as the data helps to provide estimates of Komodo dragons and their prey population sizes and density. Likewise, patrolling is an important component to monitor and control arson activities, the occurrence of feral dogs and illegal activities. With a continuous management programme on the reserve, it is hoped that illegal activities within the park boundaries will stop and Komodo dragon numbers will increase.

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We’re all ears! African elephant zookeeper Claire Bennett tells us why she loves these magnificent creatures and how she dreamt of working with them for as long as she can remember.

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ZOO LIFE SUMMER 2021 PEOPLE Photograph Tom Smith

My name is Claire Bennett and I’m lucky enough to be part of the Animal Care Team who care for the African elephants at Colchester Zoo. I started working at the zoo in 1994 and have been working with the elephants for almost 20 years now. I have had the privilege to watch the zoo grow and improve throughout the years and be a small part of a very special zoological collection. Before working with the elephants, I had worked with many different species and had spent several years working on the farm section with shire horses, buffalo, zebra, anoa and goats, to name just a few. This gave me amazing knowledge and experience, setting great foundations in

my early career. I remember the day when the zoo manager called me in to his office and asked if I would like to try working with the elephants – since that moment I have never looked back. Every day, I feel incredibly lucky to get to spend time and share my life with such incredible animals. I try very hard to never take it for granted as every moment with the elephants is so special. I love the fact that we, as keepers, can make a difference to our animals’ lives and get the chance to educate visitors in what we do. Two of our elephants came from a circus many years ago and it has been incredible to watch them grow in confidence and see their trust with us develop over the years.

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There isn’t anything I least like doing in my role, but of course it’s very hard having to say goodbye to an animal when they are moving to another collection, but we know it is for the good of the breeding programme and it is very important to be part of that. Being a zookeeper is very hard work, both physically and mentally, and can take its toll on your body, but the commitment is always worth it. Elephants such as ours are such amazing animals for many different reasons, but the thing that fuelled my passion for working with them is their immense intelligence and the fact that they are not like any other animal in my opinion. After almost 20 years, they never fail to still surprise me with their personalities and their abilities.

Photograph Tom Smith

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Elephant husbandry is constantly improving and evolving as we continue to learn more about these unique creatures. Enclosure design, diets, training and enrichment are constantly expanding, and we strive to do the best for our elephants as well as helping with others too. We try to use our knowledge to help elephants in the wild as much as we can and have taken part in many research and conservation projects over the years that have really made a difference. If you speak to any zookeeper, you will see instantly just how proud of their job they are – we are no different on the elephant section.

I can’t say I have a favourite elephant; they are all so different and I have different relationships with each of them, much like a friend or family member. Jambo, who we moved on to Valencia once he had matured, will always have a special place in my heart. He was the first elephant I worked with as a youngster, and it was incredible to watch him grow.

? Did you know An elephant’s trunk has between 40-60,000 muscles in it Elephants are either left or right-tusked much like we are right or left-handed. They will favour one tusk over the other but will re-train themselves to use the other if their favoured tusk gets too short Elephants are able to use their trunks as a snorkel allowing them to swim under water Elephants have poor digestive systems and cannot digest orange peel well. If an orange is eaten without breaking the skin it will pass through them whole, remaining intact and ‘edible’ when it comes out Tragically, more than 100 African elephants are poached in the wild daily – they really need our help!

If I wasn’t a zookeeper, I’m not sure what I would be doing. I dreamt of doing this job for as long as I can remember and know how lucky I am to have that dream come true!

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Animal Fact Files Find out about some of the awesome animals here at Colchester Zoo!

My name: Amur tiger My favourite food: Deer, wild pig, fish, rabbit and hare

(Panthera tigris altaica)

I’m classified as: Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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About me: I’m the largest big cat species in the world and there are fewer than 500 of us found in the Russian Far East, with a small number ranging across the border into China and possibly North Korea. We inhabit high latitudes in taiga and boreal forest – that’s why Colchester Zoo’s tiger exhibit is called ‘Tiger Taiga’! We can be mostly found in two small areas of Russia, but, compared to other tigers, our range and distribution is much larger because we need to travel considerable distances to find food. Did you know? My stripes act as camouflage, helping me to blend into the forest. I need camouflage to be able to stalk animals, such as sika deer and wild boar. I am well adapted to life in our cold habitat, where temperatures can drop to minus 40ºC! I have a thick fur coat and a layer of fat underneath my skin to keep me warm in the winter snow.

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About me: My friends and I come from Southeast Asia, southern Bhutan, Bangladesh and Northeast India, then east to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and south through Malaysia and Thailand to Indonesia and Brunei. We live in primary forest, mainly in the lowlands and can live for as long as 40 years. Did you know? I’m really good at dispersing seeds – I can fly long distances and distribute seeds via my droppings over large areas. I am also known as a bar-pouched wreathed hornbill – ‘wreath’ refers to the flattened band near the base around my bill.

My favourite food: Fruit, small vertebrates and invertebrates

My name: Wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulates)

I’m classified as: Vulnerable on the the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species www.colchesterzoo.org 49

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My name: Binturong (Arctictis binturong)

My favourite food: Leaves, fruit, birds, fish and small mammals

About me: I’m related to the mongoose and found in South and Southeast Asia, from Nepal to Indonesia. I have quite a long, thick-set and solidly-built body covered in black or dark brown, coarse fur. I also have a long, bushy tail with a prehensile (gripping) tip and sharp claws to help me move around the branches. My head is small, grey and furry, and I have large, white whiskers and small ears with large tufts of hair behind. I mainly like to come out at night, using my strong night vision, sensitive hearing and excellent sense of smell to help me move around skilfully in the trees. Did you know? I am less agile on the ground, but can swim and dive well, a bit like an otter. Like other civets, we use scent to communicate, but unlike others we do it passively as our scent gland touches vegetation rather than actively marking out an area.






I’m classified as: Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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Fancy a bite? If you’re feeling as hungry as a wolf or could chomp like a chimp, check out a taste-tastic array of food, snacks and refreshments on offer in Colchester Zoo’s outlets.

Ice-cream of the crop Are you ready for a raspberry ripple? Is it pistachio that gives you pizzazz? Or maybe mouth-watering mint choc chip is your ‘go-to’. Whatever your favourite, Scoop & Go is the place to go! Located opposite the lake with an outdoor picnic area, this new ice-cream parlour offers a wide range of Carte D’Or ice cream, including Mr Whippy. A variety of cold and hot drinks, including slush, are also available.

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Absolute bangers

Enjoy delicious, locally sourced German bratwurst, Old English or vegan sausages, all served in a brioche bun at The Gourmet Sausage. Tuck into thick-cut chips, also available in a rustic roll for a tasty snack, or if you’re looking for a sweet treat, there’s a selection of ice creams and refreshing slush drinks, plus bottled drinks and hot beverages. All food and drinks are subject to availability and may change at any time. Please ask staff at the outlet about all allergen and dietary requirements. Please note opening of these outlets is weather dependant.

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Zoo Dates 2021

Don’t miss these event highlights at Colchester Zoo - from a terrific twilight safari to a terrifying trail that will scare you out of your skin!

Starlight Safari Night Saturday 25 September Join us for a late summer evening at Colchester Zoo and enjoy a magical twilight spectacular. As the temperature drops and the senses sharpen, you will have the chance to see some of our animals in a whole new light, as some bed down for the evening while for others the night is just beginning. If it’s your appetite that needs satisfying, you can always stop by Penguini’s, with other outlets also available. Don’t forget to bring a torch with you for our extended opening events – please note, animal viewing cannot be guaranteed after dark. Event ends 9.30pm.

Visit www.colchesterzoo.org for more information

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The Trail of Terror Various October dates Expect the unexpected with our Trail of Terror – a hair-raising experience for those who love being given the heebie-jeebies.

Our popular Shriek Week daytime events will also run throughout October half term with safety measures in place – more details available soon.

Following the event’s launch in 2020, this year’s trail promises a ‘spook-tacular’ route littered with scares, screams and laughter. The Trail of Terror begins as soon as you step foot in the door, from rustling bushes and masked monsters to spine-chilling screamers. Watch out… they could get you anytime, anywhere! Although the route winds through Colchester Zoo, the zoo itself will remain closed and the event does not include animal viewing. Please be aware that some areas of the zoo will be closed from 6pm, including, but not limited to, Chimpanzee Lookout.

Further information

The Trail of Terror is a pre-bookable event with a maximum capacity each evening. Once you choose your date and time slot, arrivals will be staggered along the trail as you anticipate what’s lurking around the next corner. This event is not recommended for anyone under the age of 12 years, although this is at parental discretion. Under 16s must be accompanied by a guardian 16 years or over. Under 5s will not be admitted. Please be aware that tickets are nonrefundable. All dates, times and event information are subject to change. Terms and conditions apply – please see our website for more information and updates. Please be aware that all activities, terms & conditions, dates, times and prices are subject to change.

Trail of Terror Dates: 15 October 16 October A small number of catering outlets will be 22 October open throughout the evenings so you can 23 October take a break, catch your breath and enjoy 27 October some fang-tastic food, snacks and drinks. 29 October 30 October Timed entry slots from 6.30pm Duration: Between 1h-1hr 30mins Visit www.colchesterzoo.org for more information

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Get an annual Zoo Pass and reap the rewards✹ from just 13p a day! There is an amazing array of benefits** with our annual Zoo Pass – from entry to see the animals at Colchester Zoo all year around, to fantastic discounts at our onsite outlets each time you visit, to free admission to other major zoos.

Our fabulous Zoo Pass can be purchased online, in person at the zoo or as a gift voucher for a loved one, giving unlimited visits for 12 months. Or if you’re just visiting for the day, you can upgrade your ticket to a Zoo Pass and we’ll deduct your entry fee – it’s as simple as that.


ADULT 16 – 59YRS: £69 CHILD 3 – 15YRS: £49 SENIOR 60YRS+: £59

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Unlimited entry for a year (Except Christmas Day) Please be aware that we may introduce pre-booking date and time slots due to COVID-19 safety measures. Entry to our annual special events Please note this does not include pre-bookable events, secondary attractions, or out of hours special events which may be charged for 10% discount in our gift shops on selected items Entrance to selected major zoos free of charge Restrictions may apply due to COVID-19 – see website for venues Child passholders qualify for a reduced rate when they have their birthday party at Colchester Zoo Money off animal experiences for passholders 10% discount in all catering outlets (excluding sweets) 20% discount in Penguini’s Restaurant & Southern Kitchen when you spend over £15 (not valid in conjunction with any other offer) Terms and conditions apply – please see www.colchesterzoo.org

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A sea change: recycling plastic Kevin Jones, Store Manager at Sainsbury’s Stanway store, talks about plastic and recycling plus compostable tea bags, part of the company’s commitment to be Net Zero by 2040 and its initiative around sustainability.

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Packaging helps us deliver fresh, undamaged produce, but we know that it can have a negative impact on our planet, therefore reducing plastic across all our stores and supply chain is one of our absolute priorities. This is why we were the UK’s first major retailer to make a significant commitment to reduce plastic, pledging to cut plastic packaging by 50 per cent by 2025.

From plastic bottles along the coast to fish packaging

Not many people would guess that some of the plastic used in the packaging for our fresh fish range was once plastic bottles abandoned along coastlines. But that's exactly what it was, and so was some of the plastic in our strawberry packaging too. We're working with Prevented Ocean Plastic™ to turn plastic found on coastlines across the world into food packaging, which will stop almost 12 million bottles going into the ocean every year.

How it works

The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ programme supports thousands of people across

the world to earn a living by paying them to collect abandoned plastic bottles along coastal areas that are at risk of ocean plastic pollution. The plastic collectors take bottles to local collection centres, where they're sorted and pressed before being taken to plastic recycling factories. From here, the plastic is washed and processed into raw materials before being turned into packaging that ends up on shelves, including in our stores.

It's more than keeping our oceans clean

As well as keeping our oceans clean, the programme gives bottle collectors a regular income. For many, it is their main way to support their families. There are also opportunities for people to run their own business, like owning a plastic collection centre or factory. These businesses employ hundreds of people in their local communities and teach new skills too. It's estimated bottle collectors from the programme prevented an enormous 500 million bottles from entering the oceans last year.

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Put the kettle on!

By the end of the year, most of our own brand teabags will be fully compostable. This means over 859 million brews will be helping the planet, one teabag at a time! Here are a few things you may not know about our new teabags:

Making our teabags fully compostable without compromising on taste or quality has been no small feat. The project started back in 2018.

But that’s not the only challenge. The factory that makes our teabags has had to change their operating procedures to stop our new teabag paper sticking to rollers due to the change of material.

Switching to a plantbased plastic means our own brand teabags can be industrially composted, a process where heat and specific equipment are used to break them down into compost.

Not only have we changed the material of our teabags, we’ve also redesigned our packaging as the rigid shape of our new teabags meant the old boxes didn’t close properly. As we’re also removing the outer plastic packaging, we needed to look at ways to stop tea dust leaking from the boxes.

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Our own brand teabags used to be partly made up of an oil-based plastic. It was used as a sealant to stop tea leaves seeping into mugs when put in boiling water. But this meant that when a teabag was thrown away, the plastic remained in the environment. To stop this, we’re now switching the sealant material to a plant-based plastic. This means they’ll be fully compostable and can be disposed of in food waste or kerbside collection bins.


From all of us at Sainsbury’s, we wanted to say thank you for being brilliant during the pandemic and for showing such kindness, understanding and respect to our colleagues working in the store. Through the pandemic we have worked tirelessly to keep our shelves full and provide great customer service. We look forward to continuing to serve you and offering great service where it matters most.

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Easy peasy Check out this delicious recipe from our friends at Sainsbury’s!

ZOO LIFE SUMMER 2021 SHOPPING This is the ultimate pesto vegetable pasta recipe. Peas aren’t just packed full of protein, they help nourish the soil as they grow and we’ve included them in this new pesto recipe along with hazelnuts and basil. Ready in 30 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes Prep time 10 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients 300g spaghetti or linguine – or your favourite pasta 450g frozen, fresh or tinned peas 2 tablespoons of oil, we recommend extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic 1 large bunch basil (saving leaves to garnish) 10g hazelnuts Juice and zest of a lemon 1 small courgette – cut into thin slices 60g mozzarella – pull into small pieces Salt and pepper to taste Method In a pan of boiling water, cook the peas for 2 minutes.

Nutritional details

Place 250g of the peas into a food processor, along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, basil, hazelnuts, half the lemon juice and zest, small pinch of salt and pepper; blitz until smooth, or crush the ingredients together using a rolling pin – to do this, add the pesto ingredients to a sandwich bag then cover with a tea towel and carefully crush with the rolling pin.

Energy 2144kj 512kcal 26% Fat 16.0g 23% Saturates 5.4g 27% Sugars 5.4g 27% Salt 0.35g 6%

Bring a pan of water to the boil, cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes.

Typical values per 100g: Energy 825kj/197kcal Each serving provides 63.0g carbohydrates 10.0g fibre 22.0g protein

Drain the pasta – save a few tablespoons of the water, then combine with the pesto, remaining peas, courgettes, mozzarella and then add the reserved water.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, lightly fry the courgettes for a few minutes, set aside.

When serving, add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!

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Don’t worry, be Appy!

Download the Colchester Zoo App for all you need to help navigate your way around the park, learn more about the animals you see and find great places to stop for a bite to eat. Colchester Zoo is home to more than 200 species set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes – there’s so much to see and do. The Colchester Zoo App is a great way to discover the various attractions around the zoo; it also highlights our easy access route, as well as detailing the location of all hand sanitisers and highlighting the other safety measures we have introduced.


Explore the map, see your location, and navigate to find your favourite animals





Read more and learn interesting facts about the species you see



Plan your route to our daily encounters and access our audio talks about a variety of species Look up your nearest food outlet, toilet facilities and play areas Keep up to date on offers available at the zoo Important information and FAQs are also available to read during your visit

Enable push notifications to receive safety reminders and updates from the zoo on the day of your visit

To download the Colchester Zoo App please visit, www.colchesterzoo.org 66 wwwcolchesterzoo.org

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27/05/2021 22:15

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