Live updates

Twycross Zoo regrets use of chimps in PG Tips TV ads

The Chief Executive of Twycross Zoo says chimps should never have been used in PG Tips adverts.

Studies have since found that the apes, which came from the zoo in Leiecestershire, were damaged by the experience.

One of the surviving chimps from the PG Tips adverts at Twycross Credit: ITV Central

Sharon Redrobe, who was appointed CEO in October 2013, said:

"I am very happy we have re-opened the debate on the use of chimps in the media... We have learned a lot in the last twenty years… Chimps find it difficult to be chimps when they have been reared with people…

They have not learned normal chimp etiquette and so when we have to re-introduce them, these animals become very aggressive and can kill people… We have seen many instances in the USA where these chimps have turned on their owners and that is to be expected...

I absolutely would not use chimps in entertainment anymore. They live until their thirties and forties now and we need to give them the best life possible; and that means giving them the best start possible, which is being with other chimps."

Unilever, which owns PG Tips, says it has not featured real apes for more than a decade:

"We have not featured chimpanzees in any PG Tips advertising for over a decade and now use the iconic ‘Monkey’ character as our brand ambassador.”

Animal counts for New Year audits at Twycross Zoo

Zoos across the region are starting their annual count of animals today.

Twelve week-old Black and Gold Howler monkey, Donatello with its mother Lottie at Twycross Zoo Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

The New Year audits help keepers draw up breeding plans, it is also done to see how certain species are surviving in captivity.

Staff at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire will start their work today.

Advertisement

Zoo release video of 14-day-old rare orang utan

Twycross Zoo has released a video of a rare orang utan born at the attraction in Leicestershire on November 28th. It shows the ape at 14 days old bonding with its mother.

It's the third endangered ape to be born at the zoo this year, and has been described as 'vital' to the survival of the species, which faces extinction in the wild because of the destruction of its natural habitat.

Zoo: 'Orang utans face an uncertain future'

Keepers at Twycross Zoo say they're delighted at the birth of its newest orang utan, as they risk being wiped out within 20 years.

There are fewer than 50,000 of the apes left in the wild, as their natural habitat is being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.

'As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation. Experts now agree that orang utans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”

– Head of Life Sciences, Dr Charlotte Macdonald

Within Indonesia, oil palm production expanded from 600,000 hectares in 1985 to over 6 million hectares by 2007.

Endangered orang utan born at Twycross Zoo

The orang utan was born on November 28th Credit: Twycross Zoo

Keepers at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire are celebrating after the birth of an endangered orang utan.

The ape was born on November 28th and is the third to be born at the attraction and conservation centre this year.

36-year-old mother Kibriah with her fourth offspring Credit: Twycross Zoo

Keepers at the zoo have described the birth as a vital addition to the European Breeding Programme to ensure the survival of the endangered ape.

The baby orang utan being cared for by its mother at Twycross Zoo Credit: Twycross Zoo

Experts believe the species are likely to be extinct in the wild within around 20 years, and say breeding in captivity like this is essential.

Baby monkey will be named in the next few weeks

Zoo keepers are keeping a close eye on a seven-week-old baby De Brazza monkey over the coming weeks as they try to choose a name.

The youngster was born in October at Twycross Zoo and has already proved a hit with visitors due to his adventurous antics.

The baby De Brazza has yet to be named Credit: Twycross Zoo

Senior primate keeper Sarah Dee said keepers like to get to know their monkeys' personalities before they decide on a name.

Advertisement

Adorable baby monkey born at Twycross Zoo

An adorable baby De Brazza's monkey has been born at Twycross Zoo.

Zoo keepers welcomed the bouncing baby boy seven weeks ago, and the youngster - who has yet to be named - has now been put on display to visitors, where his adventurous antics are making him a popular attraction.

The baby De Brazza was born at Twycross Zoo seven weeks ago Credit: Twycross Zoo

Part of the guenon family, the De Brazza newborn has the breed's signature orange cresent-shaped patch on his forehead and white muzzle, which extends into a beard.

The De Brazza is approaching the benchmark to be classed as a threatened species, as they suffer from the loss of their natural habitat due to deforestation and hunting.

The baby De Brazza Credit: Twycross Zoo

Senior primate keeper Sarah Dee said he has bonded well with his mother Ludo and dad Tom, and loves playing with his older sister Afia.

From day one he was very alert and within a week or so he was leaving mum to explore his new surroundings.

His adventurous nature has given our visitors a great opportunity to see the youngster at such an early age, and he’s definitely winning them over with his looks.

Afia loves playing with her new brother and we often see her carrying him around and the two playing chase with one another.

Ludo is an experienced and confident mum, so although she lets her newborn play she’s never far behind to keep him out of mischief.

Rare bush dog pups born at Twycross Zoo

Bush Dog pups Credit: Courtesy of Twycross Zoo

Three South American bush dogs have been born at Twycross Zoo, the first litter of bush dog pups to be born at the Zoo in almost a decade.

Bush Dog pups Credit: Courtesy of Twycross Zoo

The pups arrived safely on 21st August 2013. The pups have so far remained off show in their nest, but are now beginning to venture into their outdoor viewing area and explore their new surroundings.

Bush Dog pup Credit: Courtesy of Twycross Zoo

Bush dogs are members of the dog family and produce a strong scent that resembles vinegar. This has led to them being nicknamed the 'vinegar dog'. Bush dogs are well adapted for a semi-aquatic lifestyle and have webbed feet to aid swimming.

CPS Statement on Twycross Zoo cruelty case

The Crown Prosecution Service says there was "insufficient evidence" to charge two former zoo keepers at Twycross Zoo under the Animal Welfare Act.

Three people were arrested by Leicestershire Police after reports two elephants were mistreated at the Zoo. A file was passed to the CPS relating to two of those arrested. No further action was taken against the third.

CPS East Midlands has examined evidence presented to us by Leicestershire Police in relation to allegations of mistreatment of elephants at Twycross Zoo.

"This has been examined in detail and we have informed Leicestershire Police that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, in that the conduct shown is not sufficient to prove a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006."

The elephants suffered no lasting ill effects."

– CPS Statement
Load more updates