No monkeying around - April 2014

No Monkeying Around

Bristol Zoo Gardens is home to  over 400 different animal species and has recently invested
in improving the enclosures for its gorillas and monkeys. One area of expenditure was the
drill monkey house – home to brothers Donga and Boki ‐  which is immediately inside the
zoo. Among the improvements is a new 24V sliding gate system that allows the keepers to
segregate the drills  into different areas of the enclosure when required.

Drills are one of Africa’s rarest and most threatened primates and this is the first time Bristol
Zoo has kept this species since the 1950s. These primates are very intelligent and had learnt
the routine of the gate opening.  The previous sliding gate had a lever which operated a
chain driven roller gate and the drills realised whenever a keeper stood near the lever, the
gate was about to move; making it impossible for keepers to activate the gate and segregate
them into the different areas. The Electric Gate Company Ltd, based in Cheddar, designed a
safe and efficient sliding gate system in the enclosure for the drill monkeys, which could be
operated remotely.  

The new sliding gate system allows the keepers to stand anywhere as the gate is operated
by remote controls, making it easier to open and close the gate before the monkeys realise
what’s happening.

Richard Hooper of The Electric Gate Company said “the choice of automation was a simple
one as the C720 24V sliding gate operator is not only an extremely reliable choice, it is the
only operator available on the market to move at the speed required.”  

Benn Allen, Estates project coordinator Bristol Zoo, added: “we’re very happy with the
flexibility that the new sliding gate gives the keepers; it  allows easier movement of the
animals throughout the enclosure and improves our day to day management and husbandry
of the pair.”

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