Knot bad going!

A handful of DZG keepers did knot take long to master a new rope tying technique to create stimulating toys for our animals.

Six keepers, including Jade Reddall pictured, learned how to make a rope ball called a monkey fist at an after-work tutorial led by Senior Primate Keeper Jodie Dryden.

This was the second tutorial from Jodie, who last month volunteered to teach staff how to make enrichment devices out of old fire hose. On both occasions, keepers gave up their own time to produce the crafty creations for the animals they care for.

Jodie, who learned the activities on a course a few years ago, said: “The monkey fist involves a set of tricky knots so we started by making small ones which can still be used with our animals.

“Primates will be able to swing on them and the big cats can use them as a push toy.

“Once the keepers have got used to the technique they can then scale it up and use thicker rope to make a larger ball, similar to the one we have in the tiger enclosure.”

The enrichment devices will eventually be added to several enclosures and can be filled with treats as well, to make feeding and play time more exciting for some of our 1,600-strong collection.