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Chimp Art Auction

20 March 2006

Chimp Art Auction

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Wellington Zoo is holding a Chimp Art Auction in the Archibald Centre on Sunday March 26th at 3pm as part of its Chimp Day celebrations, General Manager, Operations Mauritz Basson announced today.

“Jessie the chimp loves to paint, I hold the canvas for her and she chooses the colours – though not yellow as she tends to eat it,’ said Jo Turton, Wellington Zoo chimp keeper.

“As one of the last chimps to be hand raised at Wellington Zoo, Jessie grew up in the house of the head keeper. It was there that she first picked up a paintbrush,” said Jo.

“On Chimp Day we’ll be auctioning eight of Jessie’s original abstract paintings. We also have framed photo portraits of our chimps, and passes for a special behind the scenes tour of our new chimp block, due to open later this year - amongst other things,” said Jo.

Preceding the auction, Jo will talk about her recent work experience trip to a chimp sanctuary in Uganda. In the week before Christmas, Wellington Zoo visitors donated over $1,200 which Jo delivered to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

”Chimp Day is a fun way of celebrating the chimpanzees at Wellington Zoo. We will have a whole lot of chimp based activities going on, and the Popsicle band will be playing,” Mauritz said.

“It also gives visitors a great opportunity to learn more about chimps, and about the bushmeat crisis that is threatening their numbers in the wild. Around 5,000 chimps are killed each year for their meat.’

Proceeds raised from the chimp auction will be split between the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund and buying creative enrichment tools for the new chimp block.

Entry to the auction at 3pm in the Zoo’s Archibald Centre is free, normal Zoo entry fee applies for Chimp Day activities within the Zoo.



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