Assistant Curator Richard Brown’s handiwork has solved a weighty problem for primate keepers and could be used across other animal sections.
Thanks to Richard’s design skills, spider monkeys, Charlie, Chester, Valentine and Evita, can now have their weight recorded simply by hopping on to a wooden shelf housing a set of scales.
Richard pictured with his proptotype said: “The only way we could record their weights previously was when they were sedated for medical treatment.
“By fitting the scales inside a box and mounting it on the wall so it looks like a shelf means the spider monkeys can simply hop on and keepers can see the weight immediately on the display fascia.”
He added: “Spider monkeys are pretty quick and are naturally suspicious of things like scales so having a box, where all wires are completely hidden, will be a stress-free way of weighing them.”
Richard said the box system could also be used for other animals.
He said: “This could prove a useful design to help us weigh other animals, including big cats, great apes, and possibly our Brazilian tapirs.
“We would need to use different materials but it’s certainly worth testing.”