Wild About Autumn 2021

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FOR MEMBERS AND WILDLIFE LOVERS AUTUMN/WINTER 2021

FIND YOUR WILD SIDE THIS WINTER

COOL CRITTERS LONDON'S NEW REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN HOUSE

PLUS WE SALUTE YOU ECO WARRIOR! 6 ways you're already saving the world!

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS Our top picks for under-the-tree treats

SNAP HAPPY Meet animal-mad Member Nicky Fry 1

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LIVING LEGEND ZSL Member Nicky Fry took this fantastic greater one-horned rhino shot at Whipsnade Zoo. “I love taking pictures of the animals at Whipsnade, including the giraffes, the penguins and the birds at the bird displays. But the greater one-horned rhino is my favourite animal to observe and photograph,” she says. “I think it’s because I’ve always loved dinosaurs, and that’s what these animals with their incredible textured skin remind me of – living dinos! “I had to wait about an hour get this shot. The rhinos are rarely in this part of the paddock and often seem to be lying down when I visit, and I wanted to capture them while they were active. On this day, I was lucky to spot this rhino slowly ambling around, and managed to take a few shots, and this was the winner. It’s very special to me.” Hear more from Nicky on page 10. 2

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A GREAT DAY OUT THAT DOES GOOD

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pring might get all the glory, but autumn is just as much a time for new beginnings in my book. New lessons, new coats, new recipes for dinner, old gloves that feel new again, and a new world to explore as leaves turn crimson, trees drop their seeds and fungi starts to grow. There’s a freshness in the air, an anticipation about the festivities to come and, at the Zoos, change is afoot. This issue looks ahead to the opening of our new Reptile and Amphibian House at London next year (page 6). As Zookeeper Chris Michaels explains, the new exhibit will take you deep into the world of the earliest animals to walk the Earth and the mind-boggling ways they live. The new exhibit will also help our zookeepers expand the work they already do to protect our rarest reptiles and amphibians from extinction. From learning how to breed rare species, to developing ways to fight off amphibian disease, our zookeepers are part of the global effort to conserve these unique animals.

And it doesn’t end there. On page 14, Primate Keeper Hayley Jakeman talks about London's macaque troop moving to a spacious new home at Whipsnade Zoo next year. Sulawesi crested macaques are one of the rarest primates on the planet and their new home at Whipsnade will be an awesome opportunity to raise their profile as a species and inspire more conservation work. Just by being a ZSL member, coming along to our events or doing your Christmas shopping in the Zoo shop, you’re contributing to the work of our zookeepers and conservationists around the world – from the protection of corals in the Indian Ocean to helping recover populations of tigers and rhinos in Nepal. (We’ve picked out some of our highlights on page 11). If that isn’t a good reason to have another slice of lemon drizzle cake in the Zoo café, I don’t know what is! I hope you enjoy this edition of Wild About magazine, and keep an eye out for extra online articles and pictures from the Wild About team – you’ll get them sent straight to your inboxes if you subscribe to our email newsletters at zsl.org/subscribe. Keep your photos and stories coming in to wildabout@zsl.org, we love to hear them and will share some of the best in the magazine or online.

Dominic Jermey CVO OBE, Director General, ZSL @DomJermey

DR CHRIS MICHAELS, LONDON ZOO TEAM LEADER OF REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS

Wild About is the magazine for members and supporters of ZSL ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY Tel: 020 7722 3333 zsl.org Registered Charity No. 208728 For more information about membership, please contact the supporter contact team on 0344 225 1826. Editor: Jonathan Kemeys Copywriter: Claire Sargent Design: Claire Scott wildabout@zsl.org WITH THANKS THIS ISSUE TO:

Will Amlot, Rebecca Blanchard, Zuzana Boumrah, Tina Campanella, Stephanie Deas, Gemma Dipple, Lee Duffy, Emma Edwards, Hannah Fisk, Nicky Fry, Charlotte Gurden, Joy Hadfield, Penny Hamilton, Rob Harland, Hayley Jakeman, Dominic Jermey, Kate John, Daniel Kane, Laura Laird, Stephanie Lloyd, Matt Lowton, Chris Michaels, Ana Pinto, Vicki Sage, Kathryn Sanders, Ben Tapley, Chris Webb, Alastair Wilkinson

Wild About is printed on paper which is certified as an FSC® Mix Grade containing elemental chlorine free (ECF) fibre, which comes from well-managed forests. Your copy of the magazine is sent to you in a recyclable envelope. Wild About is published three times a year and distributed to ZSL Gold Members and supporters. No part of Wild About may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without prior written permission from ZSL. ZSL cannot guarantee the return of unsolicited articles, photographs, etc. ZSL reserves the right to refuse an advertisement without explanation. ZSL does not necessarily endorse any of the products or services advertised. When you have finished with this issue please recycle it or share it!

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NEWS FROM THE ZOOS AND BEYOND THANK Y OU!

From rein tr and repla oducing dormic e nting ma ng breeding rare anim roves to als, none of what we do possible would be with your sup out port.

MOUSEY MILESTONE MAKES A SQUEAK The UK’s hazel dormice have been on the decline in recent decades, but our vets at London Zoo are on a mission to help them! Alongside partners at Natural England and People’s Trust for Endangered Species, our vets have been reintroducing groups of mice to dormice-friendly spots up and down the country since 1999. This year, a group of 30 mice – including dormouse number 1,000! – were introduced to their forever home in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just next to the Lake District. Our vets, like Tammy Shadbolt, have the enviable job of overseeing dormice quarantines and making sure they’re happy and healthy before being released, which includes gently checking their eyes, ears, paws and tails, and listening to their hearts with a stethoscope. “Working with the hazel dormice is a wildlife vet’s dream come true!” says Tammy. "They are exceptionally cute little animals with individual personalities, and this year was particularly special because it marked the milestone of our 1,000th dormouse."

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AYE'LL BE OUT IN A MINUTE Born in May this year but tucked away in a nest box and cared for by mum Sally for its first few months, London Zoo’s new baby aye-aye is finally out and exploring their new home. In Madagascar, aye-ayes are often feared and seen as a death omen by local people, but perhaps they've not met a cute baby aye-aye like ours! At the time of writing our zookeepers don’t yet know the sex of the youngster – that won’t happen until the first health check – but this little one is a vital addition to the European breeding programme for this Endangered species.


SPECIAL DELIVERY Some very fishy parcels have been speeding up and down the country this year, sent by our zookeepers. Over 1,000 fish, many of them extremely rare and bred behind the scenes at London and Whipsnade Zoos, have been sent to other zoos and aquariums in Bristol, Norfolk and Surrey. Our first class fish deliveries include species like the extinct in the wild Charco la Palma pupfish from Nuevo Leon, north-eastern Mexico, which disappeared from the wild in 1994 and is now only found in Whipsnade Zoo and a handful of aquariums around the world. Setting up new populations of rare fish at other zoos and aquariums mean we can keep their species safe until it’s possible for them to return to the wild!

WINGED WONDERS

Look out for some very special arrivals on your next visit to London Zoo

IT MUST BE DOVE You might have heard the pitter patter of little pink feet if you visited Blackburn Pavilion earlier this year. Our pair of Socorro doves have successfully raised four chicks. It’s exciting news for their species too, because there are sadly no longer any doves left on the Mexican island of Socorro. London Zoo is one of the only Zoos in the world to care for them!

MANGROVE MANIA IN MOZAMBIQUE Did you know that mangrove forests are important for both wildlife and people? The trees are specially adapted to life on tropical coastlines, and create underwater forests with their roots. These are the perfect nurseries for growing fish, letting them hide from larger predators. Mangroves also help protect people living near the ocean from tsunamis and reduce the impact of climate change by trapping carbon. Mangrove forests have been disappearing in the tropics as people use them for firewood or remove them to build tourist resorts on the coast, but we’re working with fishing communities in northern Mozambique to help replant mangrove forests. We’ve already planted 7,000 mangrove tree seedlings so far, and this summer Mozambique’s Government launched the National Programme for Mangrove Rehabilitation. How tree-mendous! Read about the ways your membership supports animals and ecosystems around the world on page 11!

CAW BLIMEY From one rare bird to another! Our pair of the blue-throated macaws – South America’s rarest parrot – have also raised three chicks at London Zoo this year. Just 250 birds are thought to be left in their home country Bolivia, with many taken from the wild for the pet trade. Keep an eye out for our colourful chicks in the aviary by Penguin Beach.

TITLE CHALLENGERS Swooping in to take up residence at London Zoo, our red-breasted arrivals the collared trogons might be challengers for the title of ‘most striking birds in the Blackburn Pavilion’. Can they take the crown from our amethyst starlings or red-crested turacos? We’ll let you decide! ZSL.ORG / WILD ABOUT / AUTUMN/WINTER 2021

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WITH A HOP, M AND A JU P Next year, ZSL London Zoo’s reptiles and amphibians will move round the corner to their new House at the heart of the Zoo. Zookeeper Dr Chris Michaels explains why these cold-blooded creatures could be the coolest customers at the Zoo.

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n the leaf litter at the end of your garden, perched on a rock in your neighbour’s pond and under the hedgerow of your local nature reserve, they are waiting. They outlasted the dinosaurs, waved goodbye to the woolly mammoth and saw off the sabre-toothed tiger – could they outlive us too? London Zoo’s Team Leader of Reptiles and Amphibians, Dr Chris Michaels, certainly seems to think so. Though humans might be their biggest challenge yet. "Amphibians emerged around 350 million years ago, a full 150 million years before the first mammals, and even reptiles had a 30-million-year head start on mammals. They’ve used that extra time to adapt perfectly to their environment,” says Chris.

ORIENTAL FIRE-BELLIED TOAD 6

They win the numbers game too. “There are only 6,000 species of mammal, but there are almost 20,000 species of reptile and amphibians, and that’s just the ones we know about! We like to think of ourselves, mammals, as the most successful animal group but the more we learn about reptiles and amphibians, the more we look second best.”

COOL UNDER PRESSURE Most reptiles and amphibians are ectotherms. That means that, unlike us, they can’t burn energy to generate body warmth. This has earned them the nickname ‘cold-blooded’. “It's often seen as a weakness,” says Chris. “People think it needs to be hot for them to be able to do anything. In fact, it’s one of their greatest strengths. “Reptiles and amphibians are found almost everywhere in the world – from near-freezing mountains and lakes to boiling deserts – and most are adapted to survive in much larger temperate range than us mammals. For us, a change of our internal temperature by just 2°C can send us into shock!

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DR CHRIS MICHAELS, TEAM LEADER OF REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS AND (ABOVE) PANTHER CHAMELEON "And maintaining that stable internal temperature is like stoking a fire, we need to eat constantly to keep it going.”

THIN-SKINNED OR TWIN-SKILLED? Amphibians were the first animals to emerge onto land, but didn't lose their skills for life underwater. Amphibians developed ‘permeable’ skin, which allows them to take in water and oxygen through their skin. This means they can breathe just as well on land as underwater, giving them more opportunities to hunt, reproduce and hide from predators. Sadly, this adaptation has put them most at risk from humans, says Chris. “Amphibians are more susceptible to pollution. They also need moisture to survive and, as our climate changes, so does the availability of water.” SCALING UP OUR CONSERVATION That’s where our new Reptile and Amphibian House comes in. Packed with the newest technology, the House will help our zookeepers undertake


HOP TRUMPS A few of our favourite species moving to the new house

BLUE TREE MONITOR LIZARD new research that will help us save species around the world. “The building we work in now was ahead of its time when it was built in 1926, I’m excited to continue that tradition with our new, world-leading Reptile and Amphibian House,” says Chris. London Zoo’s team of experts are already fighting to save critically endangered mountain chicken frogs in Monserrat. “These huge frogs have been decimated by a fungal disease spread by humans, but using heated pools – a technique we developed here at the Zoo – kills off the fungus without harming the frog.” With new technology at their disposal, the team will be able to conduct more research, as well as look to bring even rarer species into the Zoo. As for visitors, the new House will mean getting to see animals in their own habitats like never before. “State-of-the-art temperature and environmental control equipment means we can replicate their habitat perfectly in the Zoo. That means taking our visitors for a dive in Lake Pátzcuaro to meet our Mexican salamanders, to Batanta Island in Indonesia to meet blue tree monitor lizards, or to Cameroon’s highlands to meet the Lake Oku frog.”

London Zoo's Reptile and Amphibian House opens in 2022. Don’t forget to pack your snorkel and sun cream!

DYEING POISON DART FROG

Did yo u The po know? ison co mes from th eir of toxic diet ants

Scientific name: Dendrobates tinctorius

LIVES: Amazon Rainforest, Suriname and northern Brazil

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SPECIAL POWER: Uses their bright blue skin to tell hungry predators that they're highly poisonous and won’t make a good dinner!

know? Did you oo were Z n o d Lon rope to u E in t s firs is specie th d e bre in 2021

ETHIOPIAN MOUNTAIN VIPER

Scientific name: Bitis parviocula

LIVES: Mountains of Ethiopia

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SPECIAL POWER: Camouflage that keeps them hidden and a venomous bite for capturing their prey!

BACKSTAGE WITH...

ANITA SHETH CREATIVE MANAGER Did you know that some frogs, snakes and turtles go into a kind of hibernation over winter? Or that some frogs carry their eggs on their back, and some snakes give birth to live young instead of laying eggs? Neither did I! But it’s my job to mine our keepers for as many facts as possible before dreaming up fun ways for you to learn about our animals on your visit to the new Reptile and Amphibian House. Get ready for games and interactive activities that engage all the senses!

ROTI ISLAND SNAKE-NECKED TURTLE

Did yo u know ? This sp though ecies is t to be e in the w xtinct ild

Scientific name: Chelodina mccordi

LIVES: Rote Island, Indonesia NECK LENGTH: 18-25cm SPECIAL POWER: A neck that can grow almost as long as its body, like a giraffe!

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© 2021 Acamar films Ltd

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THINGS TO DO THIS SEASON

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LAST CHANCE FOR ZOORASSIC PARK!

SEE BING AND FLOP AT LONDON ZOO

BIG TRUNK TRAIL FAREWELL

WHIPSNADE ZOO UNTIL 31 OCT

LONDON ZOO UNTIL 31 OCT

WHIPSNADE ZOO 22 – 28 OCT

Our humungous herd of roarsome dinosaurs are leaving Whipsnade Zoo and stomping back to the Jurassic Period at the end of this month, but there’s just time to give your dinomad kids a final thrill before they’re gone! Get up close with our life-sized, animatronic giants, fill up on prehistoric facts and experience first-hand how these extinct reptiles moved and behaved as you track down your favourite species of dinosaur!

Little ones will love to explore our brand-new, free Bing trail, with interactive storytime sessions and an opportunity to meet Bing and Flop. Bingsters will embark on a journey of wildlife discovery through this new interactive family experience, created especially for pre-schoolers. Storytime tickets are free but numbers will be limited so a booking system will be in place on the day. Gold members, Fellows and Patrons will also get priority access to the first storytime session of the day at peak times.

After trumpeting across Luton all summer, the Big Trunk Trail’s herd of over 30 colourful elephants is coming to Whipsnade Zoo! Organised by Keech Hospice Care, look out for our ‘Harvest for the Herd’ themed sculpture, designed by artist David Maguire, as well as designs inspired by nature, carnival and even football!

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VISIT

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Pull on your wellies and a woolly hat, we’ve got an autumn and winter packed with activities for you to enjoy. Put the dates in your diary and sign up to our member newsletter at zsl.org/subscribe for updates on timings and dates in case government guidelines change.

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SAVE THE DATES Tear me out and stick me next to your calendar or on the fridge

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4 ESCAPE TO THE TROPICS

MEET SANTA AT WHIPSNADE ZOO

THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

LONDON ZOO 23 – 31 OCTOBER

WHIPSNADE ZOO 20 NOV– 24 DEC

LONDON ZOO 27 NOV– 3 JAN

Explore the jungles of South America, the lush islands of the Pacific and the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean this October half-term – all at London Zoo! Our brand new Giants of the Galápagos, opened earlier this autumn, will transport you to the famous archipelago, while our Tiny Giants and Rainforest Life exhibits are the perfect place to get up close with species like the two-toed sloth, golden-headed tamarin monkey, clownfish and praying mantis. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit and sunglasses!

Have you been extra good this year? It’s time to find out, because Santa is back at Whipsnade this November and December! Get into the festive spirit with a visit to Santa in his grotto, including a gift for every child. Tickets will be released early in November, make sure you're signed up to emails at zsl.org/subscribe for the latest information.

Visit London Zoo this December to enjoy the magic of Christmas! Tuck into scrumptious festive treats, help Santa pick Christmas presents for our animals, send your own card to Santa at Mrs Claus’ Post Office, and wonder at our sensory sweet shop – complete with candy cane forest and gingerbread house! If you haven’t been lucky enough to grab a Meet Santa ticket this year, you might still get a glimpse of Santa Claus as he takes a break from present wrapping and sleigh packing, so keep your eyes peeled for our pop-up Santa!

FOR FULL DETAILS OF UPCOMING EVENTS

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Being out at the Zoo with my camera helps me feel much more at ease with things.

MY ZOO Z

SL member Nicky Fry has been visiting ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for many years, and loves capturing its many animals on camera. Here, she explains why that experience means so much to her.

Nicky has always been an animal lover, so when she and her partner visited Whipsnade together, they decided to join as members. “Not just for us, but also because of all the work ZSL does to help animals,” she explains. “We try to go to Whipsnade at least once a month, and I’ll go more often if I have any free time, or I need a break.” Since getting her first camera for Christmas at the age of around 13, Nicky has always loved photography. “I used to love taking photos of my family and pets,” she says. “Being behind the camera just felt so natural to me.” After becoming a regular Zoo visitor, Nicky has been able to practise her growing photography skills on the resident animals, with impressive results. She also enjoys the calming effect of being around the animals. “I deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis, due to being on the autistic spectrum,” she says. “I have sensory issues with sound, touch and 10

lights, so everything can become very overwhelming, and I have issues with communication and small talk with people. Being at the Zoo, and out with my camera, seems to help me relax and just be myself. “I feel I can relate to animals better than I can humans – they don’t need to engage in conversation, and they don’t mind if I’m silent,” she adds. “I love all the open space at the Zoo, because I can get a bit stressed if there are a lot of people around – but concentrating on getting the photo helps me deal with that.” Some of Nicky’s favourite spots at Whipsnade are the flamingo pool and elephant enclosure. But she’ll often have a particular animal in mind to photograph before she arrives. “I tend to spend most of my visit with that one species, although if it gets too busy I’ll abandon that idea and move on to whoever is out and about at the time,” she says. “It’s funny; when I’m in front of an animal I can often tell if I’m going to get that perfect shot. I’ll happily watch them for hours to get it!” Nicky hopes to keep working on her photography and sharing her work, and would love to see it on people’s walls one day. She’s also keen to raise awareness of autism, and how much both photography and animals have

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helped her deal with it. “The Zoo means so much to me – if I’m having a bad day, I can drive there and forget all my problems for a while,” Nicky says. “Because of my autism, I’m not a very social person, but I’m happy even just being there on my own." “Photography has given me a voice to tell people how I see feelings, through the images of the animals,” she adds. “I find dealing with emotions very difficult, and being out at the Zoo with my camera helps me feel much more at ease with things.” We love hearing your stories! Want to share your experiences of being a ZSL Member and help inspire others about the different ways they can use their membership? Get in touch at wildabout@zsl.org or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

YOUR PHOTOS

Thanks to Nicky and everyone else who has shared their brilliant Zoo photos with us! We’ve created an online gallery of all your images at zsl.org/wildabout/photogallery and you can spot more of Nicky’s work on her Instagram page @nicolafryphotography


1. GADGETS FOR GOOD

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SCORER OP

Our tech experts are working with Google to fight against the illegal wildlife trade. Recent inventions include thermal cameras that can automatically detect elephants, and acoustic sensors that recognise gunfire.

Find out about the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals at un.org/ sustainabledevelopment

6 WAYS YOU ARE SAVING THE WORLD

2. TIGERS AND RHINOS ON THE RISE We’ve been working with the Nepali government and indigenous communities to protect Bengal tigers and greater one-horned rhinos for over two decades. And it’s a roaring success – recent population counts show both tigers and rhinos are on the up!

Did you know that your membership contributes to anti-poaching patrols, shark research and tiger tracking?

3. RALLYING FOR RANGERS We're a founding partner of the Universal Ranger Support Alliance, a group calling for support of the men and women on the front line of wildlife protection. We also support rangers in Kenya, Benin, Mongolia and Cameroon.

Our conservationists are working around the world to uphold the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and put wildlife at the heart of big decisions made by governments on climate change this year. Here are a few ways you’re helping to save the world by supporting us – go you!

4. CORAL CHAMPIONS

5. THE MAGIC OF MANGROVES

6. SAVING THE SUPERHEROES

We are working in the Chagos Archipelago to protect one of the world’s largest coral reefs and learn more about its inhabitants, like reef sharks. At London Zoo, we’ve just opened a new coral reef zone to protect rare species of coral.

We work with fishing communities in Mozambique and the Philippines to plant new mangrove forests. Mangroves provide safe nurseries for young fish, protect communities from ocean storms and are fantastic at sucking up carbon – win-win!

We’re reintroducing native oysters up and down the UK coastline after their numbers fell to just 5%. They might be humble, but oysters are superheroes. Each one filters 200 litres of water per day – imagine what restoring whole oyster reefs could do for our oceans!

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AUTUMN WATCH

NO GROWT FOR N U P S!

Get out your paint brushes and colouring pencils, we’re on the hunt for autumn colours in the animal kingdom! From fire foxes to red river hogs, our animals blend in perfectly with the changing seasons, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled to spot them.

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I get my name from my orangey-red coat and the swamps and rivers of Africa that I love to wallow in. My colourful face and bright fur mean I might just be the prettiest pig in the animal kingdom!

A CLAW-TASTROPHY Red pandas might get the nickname ‘fire foxes’, but they’re not related to pandas or foxes at all – scientists think they are closest to racoons! Can you help us match up these animals with their correct species label?

RED PANDA

A

PI

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T J K P D C W K E G V A

I P A K O T B D D K Y T

L U Q W A H P E R B B L

I M L W T A L O I B H A

O T O I N O C F V O H S

N E G D H A F H E N U M

B E A G M L I G R G L O

R Y J E Q P H B H O Y T

D E L H R A G I O L N H

B H Z A U C Y K G T X H

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H I J L D A X I I K A Q

B

I live in the dense jungles of central Africa. When I was first discovered I was mistaken for a zebra because of my stripey legs. I’m actually a cousin of a giraffe, you can tell by the similar horns on my head!

RED RIVER HOG

Can you identify these 10 orange, red and golden animals on your next visit to London or Whipsnade Zoo? London Zoo Lion Okapi Red river hog Alpaca Atlas moth

□ □ □ □ □

Whipsnade Zoo

□ Red panda □ Bongo □ Tiger □ Lynx □ Camel

WHY DID SE THE TIGER LO AT CARDS? He was playing a cheetah!

ANSWER: A: Red panda, B: Okapi, C: Red river hog

OKA

S O T C O S T B R R A N

Just like a giant panda, I come from Asia and eat lots of bamboo, but I’m orange and white, not black and white. I have a long stripey tail that I use to keep myself warm in the cold mountains where I live.


LIFE'S A CATWALK You won’t miss the golden-headed lion tamarin in London Zoo’s Rainforest Life! Found in Brazil, they get their names from their great golden manes – just like our lions. But though they might look like show-offs, these larger-than-life monkeys form tight family groups. Males and females will stay together for life, raise their babies together and defend themselves fiercely from intruders!

Send us a picture of your colourful creation to be in with the chance of winning a cuddly okapi from the ZSL shop! Ask a grown up to take a picture of your entry and email it to us at wildabout@zsl.org with your name, age and postal address by 28 February 2022. Email the same address for full terms and conditions.

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Zookeeper Hayley Jakeman, Team Leader of Primates at Whipsnade, tells us why she loves working with chimps, despite all the monkey business.

WILD LIFE

I LOOK AFTER... MY JOB IS...

Whipsnade’s primates, which means the monkeys, lemurs and apes. They range from the squirrel monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs, langurs and saki monkeys right up to the biggest apes, the chimpanzees. Plus, I also look after another brilliant species, our red pandas. MY TYPICAL DAY...

Starts with a team meeting, where we all catch up on what’s been happening, and decide who’s doing what. We’ll then check and feed all the animals, and clean the enclosures. Primates get lots of regular feeds throughout the day to keep them busy and mentally stimulated, especially the chimps. A BIG PART OF MY JOB IS...

Thinking up new ways to feed the primates, to keep them entertained. It could be a new puzzle feeder, where they have to solve a maze to get to their food; it could be hiding their food in a mountain of cardboard boxes or freezing it in ice lollies. One of the female chimps, Bonnie, is really good at solving puzzles – she’ll use a stick as a tool to get food out of a feeder. Her son Elvis, on the other hand, will just bash the feeder until the food comes out!

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THE BEST PART OF MY JOB IS...

Getting to work with such intelligent and interesting animals. We have to spend time with them, training them and getting them to trust us. You can really build a relationship with primates and get to know them as individuals. Not everyone gets to do that – it’s a very special thing. MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL TO WORK WITH IS...

Probably the chimps. They’re a challenging species to work with, because they’re so clever – perhaps cleverer than some humans before their morning coffee! So we’re constantly thinking up ways to keep them stimulated. I could sit and watch them all day – they’re always doing something to make you smile. WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CHIMPS IS...

They’ve all got very individual personalities. For example, our dominant male, Niki, is very chilled out, while one of our other males, Grant, is very playful and wants to play games with keepers, while our oldest female, Koko, is a complete sweetheart. Niki really looks out for her – he’ll let her eat food from right under his nose, which he’d never let the others do!

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I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO...

Working with Sulawesi crested macaques. We’ve got a group from London moving to a brand-new exhibit here next year, and it’s always exciting to welcome a new species. These monkeys are critically endangered in their native habitat, the rainforests of Indonesia, and we have a wooded area that is absolutely perfect for them. I’M EXCITED ABOUT...

Getting to know the group! We’ll be going to visit the London macaques to get to know them a bit better, and both sets of keepers will work together to get them ready for the move so it’s as stress-free as possible. They’ll have a big space here, so we’re really excited to see what they’ll make of their new home. We hope to add a new male to the group too, so if that all goes according to plan, we might see some baby macaques soon!


S S A A M T M T S I S CCHHRRI

We’ve got your Christmas covered with our pick of the best presents to put under your tree this winter. Best of all, every purchase from our shop helps us care for our Zoo animals and continue our work with animals around the world. shop.zsl.org

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GOLD MEMBERS CAN SNAP UP 10% DISCOUNT in our Zoo shops and online!

SPLASH OUT Make this Christmas extra special with a sleepover for two at Whipsnade Zoo’s Lookout Lodges, from £268 for Gold Members

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H UG ME TIGHT

Craving a cosy cuddly toy? Look no from £20 further, we’ve got the lot

2

SITTING PRETTY

Get comfy on a blanket made from £35 100% recycled plastic bottles

3 SEAL OF APPROVAL Warm up this winter and keep cosy with our range of heatable Warmies from £16

4

4 SIP IN STYLE

7

Cheer up your morning coffee with these mugs and coasters from £4

Treat your little one to an exclusive £8 each range of baby clothes

5

8

OTTERLY DIVINE

Fill your home with beautiful scents from our Otter Candle Co collab £10

6

Wildlife-friendly body bars for any eco warrior in need of a pamper

£5

ADOPT AN ANIMAL

Love lions or prefer penguins? Pick up an adoption pack!

9

SOAP UP SUSTAINABLY

BEST DRESSED BABY

£20

NOTEPAD NUTS

Our penguin stationery range is perfect from £12 for stationery addicts

ZSL.ORG / WILD ABOUT / AUTUMN/WINTER 2021

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© 2021 Acamar Films Ltd.

20 Sep - 31 Oct

Book now at zsl.org/bing

ZOORASSIC PARK N OPETIL UN CT 31 O

YOUR LAST CHANCE TO VISIT THIS SEASON’S BIGGEST PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE. zsl.org/zoorassicpark Exhibit produced by Dino Don, Inc.