ZSL London Zoo has unveiled its upcoming Monkey Valley walkthrough exhibit, a new home for colobus monkeys that opens on 15 August 2022.
The zoo’s former Snowdon Aviary has been transformed into a new place of residence for black and white colobus monkeys. The canal-side exhibit, which is the height of six double-decker London buses, is the first of its kind in the UK.
The Snowdon Aviary is a Grade II-listed building and one of the London Zoo’s most famous structures. The restoration project involved 35,000 hours of sensitive construction.
Zoo’s former Snowdon Aviary transformed
ZSL London Zoo’s chief operating officer Kathryn England said the exhibit comes after “seven years of careful planning and restoration”.
She said “new life has been breathed into the former Snowdon Aviary, a remarkable piece of the nation’s architectural history”.
According to a press release, visitors will feel like they are wandering through the “lush, mountainous forests of central Africa”, enjoying 360-degree views of the colobus troop.
The exhibit features multi-level sunny and shaded basking spots for the troop members, more than 800 metres of rope to swing on, 1,347 new plants and trees, and a waterfall flowing into a peaceful lagoon.
“Colobus monkeys are nicknamed the ‘high-flying monkeys’, because of their impressive leaps – as they drop from branch to branch, with their arms outstretched, it’s believed they use the long hair on their body and tails as makeshift parachutes,” England added.
“It’s truly a sight to behold, and we can’t wait to share this and more about these incredible primates with our visitors.”
The new attraction also offers a picnic spot for visitors called Colobus Park, which includes an interactive area where guests learn what colobus monkeys’ “clicks and grunts really mean”.
Acamar Films, the creative studio behind the award-winning pre-school animation series Bing, recently partnered with ZSL London Zoo to create activities inspired by the show.
Images: ZSL London Zoo