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Zoo leads way to save great apes.

Byline: Mike Malyon Nuneaton reporter

TWYCROSS Zoo has taken on a leading role to ensure the longterm survival of great apes and their natural habitat.

From its 80-acre site near Atherstone, the zoo will join the United Nations Great Ape Survival Partnership, which has the support of 31 governments from countries across the world.

Twycross chief executive Sharon Redrobe said: "Our goal is to play a leadership role in the conservation of great apes, so becoming a GRASP partner is part of that process. We already support numerous field projects and GRASP will help provide the political access and international profile to have an even greater impact."

She added: "Twycross Zoo has extensive expertise in the field of primate management and conservation and over its 50 years has not only successfully bred all four types of great apes but has also supported insitu projects in Africa and Asia that focus on the conservation and protection of apes.

"The zoo continues to play an important role in the conservation of great apes and the partnership between in-situ and exsitu conservation is vital if great apes are to be saved from extinction."

Doug Cress, programme coordinator of GRASP, said: "It is clear the protecting great apes and their forest homes will require a broad-based effort to be successful.

"Twycross Zoo's commitment to primates and to conservation makes it an ideal partner for GRASP, and we look forward to collaborating on specific initiatives."

Twycross is renowned as a specialist primate centre and is also the only UK zoo to care for every type of great ape, including bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees. It also contributes to conservation in the wild through their Conservation Welfare Fund, which has raised nearly PS350,000 since it was created in 2006 and has supported over 55 projects.

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Twycross Zoo has seen the birth of endangered primates including this orang utan.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 10, 2014
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