Curious Primates at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent Get on Their Broomsticks in Time for Halloween Half Term

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Keepers at The Aspinall Foundation's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent provide some early Halloween themed enrichment for some of the primates.

The Capuchins Get On Their Broomsticks

The Capuchins Get On Their Broomsticks c The Aspinall Foundation

The broomsticks provided something unusual and challenging for them

Primate keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, near Ashford, got into the spirit of Halloween a little early this year when they provided some unusual enrichment for some of the primates at the park – involving broomsticks.

Head Primate Keeper, Simon Jeffrey said: ‘We are constantly looking for new ways to provide mental, sensory or physical enrichment for our primates – being naturally active and curious they require a lot of stimulation. The broomsticks provided something unusual and challenging for them.’

The broomsticks, made from bamboo and natural brush, were given to the primates with treats such as nuts and fruits hidden in the brush and in the end of the stick.

Simon added: ‘We tried the brooms with the capuchins first and they got a lot of joy out of the unusual feeder, we then tried a group of howler monkeys and they also enjoyed the broomsticks and finally we gave them to our group of Guinea baboons who delighted in ripping the broomsticks apart and chewing on the bamboo.’

Visitors to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park this Halloween half term will be able to watch various forms of themed animal enrichment and even take part in pumpkin carving to win goody bags, filled with treats.

For further information including opening times, entry prices and special events please visit http://www.aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne

EDITORS NOTES:

The Aspinall Foundation’s Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal Parks in Kent were set up by the late John Aspinall to be centres of excellence for animal husbandry within which to protect and breed threatened species, with a view to returning them to the wild wherever possible.

The Aspinall Foundation is a world leading conservation charity dedicated to keeping John Aspinall’s innovative conservation ethos alive leading the way through education, captive breeding and reintroduction. The Aspinall Foundation has projects both in the UK and overseas, including Java, Madagascar, Congo and The Gabon. Working in conjunction with the parks, The Aspinall Foundation has so far returned to the wild Przewalski's horses, black rhino, Cape buffalo, Burmese pythons and western lowland gorillas.

Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal Parks were awarded Best Leisure and Tourism Business in Kent at the 2012 KEiBA awards.

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Amanda McCabe
The Aspinall Foundation
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Samantha Harwood
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