Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Captive Humans In New Zoo Exhibit, Featured With Chimpanzees

The group of four humans will be on display at the zoo near Malton in North Yorkshire from 31 August to 5 September, raising money for forest conservation and increasing awareness of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria Great Ape Campaign.

File:Schimpanse zoo-leipig.jpg
Image: Wikipedia

Humans are the last surviving species of the Homo genus and will join Flamingo Land’s chimpanzees as its second great ape species on show. Although humans are not endangered, nor part of a conservation breeding programme, it is exciting news for Flamingo Land as the Homo sapiens will be promoting the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) which uses education and research to help conserve tropical forests in Tanzania.

The four humans on display are Research Assistants with the Centre for the Integration of Research, Conservation and Learning (CIRCLE) – a jointly-funded venture between the University’s Environment Department and Flamingo Land.

They will spend their day raising funds for the Udzungwa Forest Project with games, face painting and other public events, including a ‘human only’ great ape tea party.

Money raised from fundraising last year was used to buy a pedal-powered cinema, allowing Swahili conservation films to be shown in African villages. This year it will be used for equipment and training so African villagers can make fuel briquettes (a recycled fuel alternative to wood) and for major project costs such as school education and monitoring forest health.

The CIRCLE team is led by Dr Andy Marshall, Director of Conservation at Flamingo Land and Lecturer at the University of York. He said: “Last year we raised enough funds to buy a pedal-powered cinema. In remote villages there is often no electricity, so being able to show conservation films on a big screen really amazes local people and helps spread the conservation message. At the premier film showing we had over 500 people watching.”

The week’s fundraising will culminate with a team of humans running the 10-mile Ryedale Run, also collecting money for the Udzungwa Forest Project.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/teams/ufp. Collection buckets will also be available in and around the human enclosure at the zoo. Texting FUFP80 to 70070 will donate £5. All money raised will go towards continuing the vital work of the Udzungwa Forest Project.

Contacts and sources:
University of York

The CIRCLE institute (Centre for the Integration of Research, Conservation and Learning) was launched in October 2010 and is part of the University of York’s Environment Department based at Flamingo Land. For further information on the Environment Department visit www.york.ac.uk/environment

Flamingo Land’s Udzungwa Forest Project based in Tanzania aims to break new ground for zoo-funded conservation by bridging the gap between research and conservation. CIRCLE is looking at how tropical forest animals and plants in the Udzungwa Mountains can be best conserved. The project aims to train Tanzanian villagers and graduates in ecological monitoring, improve resources and income in rural areas, and promote and advertise the exceptional beauty and biodiversity of the Udzungwa Mountains.

For further information on Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo visit www.flamingoland.co.uk

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