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Firms help the zoo

By Herald Express  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

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TWO local firms have donated items to Paignton Zoo.

The orang utans at Paignton Zoo have got themselves a TV. The 47 inch flat screen telly was donated by Richards TV and Electrical of Babbacombe.

However, it's not for the endangered South East Asian primates to watch soaps and wildlife documentaries, but for visitors to view clips of them. The TV will play recorded videos and stills images of the zoo's Bornean orang utans, including babies Tatau and Natalia.

Chris Harrington, from Richards TV and Electrical, which has been trading for over 40 years, said: "We are very happy to support such an important local wildlife charity as Paignton Zoo."

And the zoo has turned to a local company to help with a weighty matter. Keepers wanted to install a set of scales in the den of their Western lowland gorillas. But, as senior head keeper of mammals, Matthew Webb, explained, not just any scales would do:

"You can't use normal scales with gorillas, because they will play with them, which usually means they will break them! We needed to find some really heavy duty bench scales that we could secure very well."

They approached Torquay company Our Weigh, who donated a Salter Brecknell DSB Platform Scale that can weigh up to 2.5 tons.

An adult male lowland gorilla can weigh 180 kilos – that's 28 stones or nearly 400 pounds. Paignton Zoo is home to five male lowland gorillas - 30 year old Pertinax, Kiondo and Kivu who are 10; and N'Dowe and Matadi who are both 9. Between them they weigh the best part of a ton.

Matt: "It is good to weigh animals on a regular basis, as a loss of weight can indicate a problem with their health. In addition, we have installed a read-out so that visitors can see just how much the boys weigh!"

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