Weighty problem solved!

Assistant Curator Richard Brown’s handiwork has solved a weighty problem for primate keepers – and could be used across other animal sections.

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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.

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“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.”