Competitive keepers!

Competitive DZG keepers channeled the Rio 2016 spirit as they took part in their own Zoolympics to raise £500 towards an important piece of Brazilian forest.

The sporty staff went head-to-head in a number of zookeeper inspired games in the castle courtyard, including straw bale stacking, tug of war and guess the animal poo, raising £84.75 from visitor donations, who braved the heavy rain to watch and take part in some of their own animal-themed games.

And we’ve boosted the donation to £500 from zoo coffers and sent it off to the World Land Trust’s Atlantic Forest Appeal.

Conservation Officer, Chris Leeson, who organised the event, said: “Despite the atrocious weather on the day, I was delighted how much we raised from visitors who came to watch us make fools of ourselves.

“The keepers were fantastic and all got stuck into their events and the losing bird section were great sports at being put in the castle stocks and soaked even more with buckets of water.”

The World Land Trust launched an appeal to raise £40,000 to buy a part of the remaining seven per cent of Atlantic Forest in Brazil, which is one of the world’s most important regions and home to many endangered plants and animals including puma, sloth and woolly spider monkey.  

And since hosting our Zoolympic event, the charity has announced it’s exceeded its target, with the funds now being used to purchase 221 acres of land, which will be named the Olympic Forest Reserve.

Chris added: “It’s fantastic that DZG can support an important conservation cause, which will make such a huge difference to the variety of species who live in the forest.”