Chimps learn the ropes

DZG’s chimps are having a swinging time thanks to the donation of mountaineering rope from a thoughtful Leicestershire family.


Telecommunications engineer, Chris Boden and his partner, Vicky Sandford, visited DZG for the first time with their young boys, Bailey and Dexter, and after speaking with primate keepers left behind 10 bags of rope, that Chris no longer needed for work. 

Vicky said: “Chris maintains telegraph poles and uses rope to climb them; but health and safety rules mean that after five years all rope has to be replaced, regardless of whether or not it is still usable.

“It seemed a shame to throw it all away as some had plenty of life left, while others hadn’t even be used.

“We thought it would be perfect for monkeys to use, so we asked DZG if they would like it all and the boys were delighted to hand over daddy’s rope and hear how the monkeys would love playing with it.”

The rope has gone to the Lower Primates section, where it has already been put to use in the outdoor chimpanzee enclosure, as well as in the squirrel monkey and saki off-show areas in the walkthrough Monkey Tails exhibit.

Lower Primates Section Leader, Nicola Wright – pictured above with some of the donated rope – said: “We are very grateful to Chris and his family for thinking about DZG’s primates and donating the rope, which is really good quality.  

“In addition to the night-time dens, we’ve also used some of it to suspend a fallen tree branch in the chimp enclosure, which the seven girls love playing with and swinging across.”