Benji’s big birthday bash!

We’re celebrating the 40th birthday of one of DZG’s most iconic animals, our Bornean orangutan, Benji and we’re throwing a big birthday bash in his honour!

Join us this weekend, ahead of his birthday on Monday (Nov 6) as we hold a two-day fundraiser in aid of our £800,000 orangutan enclosure appeal.

Visitors can take part in an orang trail around the zoo’s 40-acre site, with the chance to win an adoption package of the birthday boy plus primate staff will also be holding a raffle with prizes including a priceless work of art by Benji himself and a luxury chenille Benji cushion, worth £19.99.

Upper Primates Section Leader, Pat Stevens, said: “Benji is one of our real characters at DZG and so he deserves a very special celebration for his milestone birthday.

“He’s been here for 21 years and we all love him and his quirks, of which he has quite a few!

“He loves having his ear tickled, but then he’ll try and push your finger up his nose for a scratch, plus he’s fascinated by our visitors’ sparkly jewellery and tattoos and loves watching people pass by his den window.

“He’s also never without his beloved bread crate and will carry it with him wherever he goes, as well as turning it upright to sit on it so he can see us through the den door. He’s very inquisitive!”

Throughout the weekend we’ll also be inviting visitors to send our gorgeous great ape special wishes by signing his 40th birthday card and they can show their support for our appeal by purchasing special charity pin badges and wristbands.

But no celebration is complete without birthday cake and we’ll be handing out slices at 12pm on Sunday.

Pat added: “We hope to welcome lots of visitors on-site over the weekend who want to join us in wishing Benji many happy returns.

“Come and find us outside the Queen Mary restaurant and learn about the plight of his critically endangered species in the wild as well as discovering more about our fundraising appeal to build a new separate outdoor enclosure for our four Bornean orangs here at DZG.”