Our Asiatic lions and snow leopards are hitting the weighing scales as part of regular health checks, thanks to the generosity of animal lovers.
Following a donation from GMS Group, a security specialist company based in Bromsgrove, we’ve been able to purchase and fit a permanent set of scales for endangered lionesses, Asha and Kyra, which has been situated on the hardstand, adjacent to their dens.
Zoo Director, Derek Grove, said: “We are so grateful to GMS Group for their wonderful donation. Weight gain for most big cats is an issue and regular weighing is the best way to monitor and adapt their diets accordingly. The scales will play a really important role in their care.”
The donation was one of five given out to local charities from the company’s 2020 Christmas budget and it also enabled us to purchase suitable fittings to protect the scales, to ensure the cats don’t chew them up for fun!
GMS Group’s Commercial Director, Lisa Nicholson, said: “Charities need support more than ever in the wake of the pandemic and donating our Christmas budget was a fantastic way for us to offer our support to those who so much in the region, at a time when they need it most.”
We’ve also been able to purchase another set of scales for our two snow leopards, after we received a generous donation specifically for Makalu and Taiga, in memory of Carole Anne Timmington.
Keepers have installed the scales in the outdoor area and through successful target training managed to record weights of both leopards on their first attempt!
Carnivore Section Leader Sam Grove, said: “We are very thankful for the kind donation in memory of Carole. The scales are already being used weekly to ensure our leopards stay fit and healthy and we even have future plans to build a new wooden walkway to take members of the public around to see the leopards being weighed during animal experiences.”
Plaques acknowledging both the lion and leopard donations have also been installed on the enclosures – and Carole’s husband and family, came on site to see the plaque in place.
Carole’s husband, Brian Timmington, said: “Carole would be so pleased that our donation has been put to good use.
“Carole was born in the local area and visited the zoo on a regular basis throughout her childhood, we actually did our courting there every Sunday in the summertime and danced in the Queen Mary ballroom when we were teenagers.
“We always laughed in later years that her married initials spelled ‘CAT’ and followed her love for the big cats at the zoo but in particular the Snow Leopard.
“She loved the fact they were so close to our natural tabby cats in both looks, colour and markings, only hissed and sometimes gave a purr and we both loved to watch the wildlife documentaries about their existence in their natural habitat.”