Fascinating images shared today by ZSL London Zoo show a colobus monkey undergoing a health check ahead of his move to a brand-new home – in the Zoo’s new Monkey Valley, opening to the public later this year.
Nine-year-old Eastern black and white colobus monkey Max was given a full body check up - from his ears to his toes - before being given a clean bill of health by the expert veterinary team; the behind-the-scenes images offer an insight into the vital role of the Zoo’s vets and vet nurses, whose work is being celebrated next week at the Zoo during its award-winning Vets in Action half term role-play experience.
ZSL’s Head Vet Amanda Guthrie said: “Max had a comprehensive health check this week under general anaesthetic, to make sure he is all set to relocate to his exciting new Monkey Valley home; after a dental check, x-rays, blood tests and even an ultrasound of his vital organs, he was confirmed fit and healthy and ready for his future move.
“Over the coming weeks, Max’s fellow troop members will all get the same VIP health check – an important part of the ZSL vet team’s work, which our young visitors will get a taste of this February half-term during Vets in Action.”
Throughout half-term (Saturday 12 – Sunday 20 February) visitors will be invited to don hairnets and masks before helping experts examine, diagnose and carry out treatments on soft toys, experiencing first-hand the huge variety of work carried out by the Zoo’s vets, vet nurses and zookeepers – from health checks on colobus monkeys to ultrasounding pregnant sloths.
Amanda added: “Every animal at the Zoo, from the smallest mongoose to the tallest giraffe, is treated by ZSL’s on-site vet team, who monitor their health alongside the zookeepers who care for them on a daily basis.”
The Zoo’s troop of ten colobus monkeys will make the move to Monkey Valley later this year after ongoing National Lottery supported restoration of the Grade II listed structure formerly known as the Snowdon Aviary is complete.
Conceived by Lord Snowdon, the iconic Snowdon Aviary was Britain’s first walk-through aviary when it opened in 1965, and will reopen as the Zoo’s new Monkey Valley - when the former aviary’s famous peaked silhouette will be fully restored to the London skyline, taking the same size and form as the original. Visitors will be able to take a tree-top walk through the majestic primates’ new forest home, as they jump, climb and soar from tree to tree around them.
Thanks to a grant of over £4million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund - alongside donations from dedicated ZSL supporters - the newly developed Monkey Valley will allow generations of future visitors and schoolchildren to get even closer to the amazing animals at ZSL London Zoo.
Vets in Action is free with Zoo entry to ZSL London Zoo this half-term.