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Citi volunteers swing by to lend a hand

Date: 29 Jul 2019

Citi volunteers swing by to lend a hand

A group of 12 volunteers from Citi Bank recently braved the Northern Irish summer (all-day rain) to muck in with some essential maintenance around the zoo.

The day started off with the volunteers comparing their shiny new steel toe capped boots with each other before some important health and safety briefing. Then it was time to set off into the zoo site.

Along the route to their first destination, the volunteers were treated to a personal mini tour from their extremely knowledgeable guide Geraldine. They got up close to our moloch gibbon and visited a few other residents, getting to hear some insider stories. And of course they had to visit George the Rothschild giraffe baby, who isn’t so little anymore, despite not even being a month old!

Then it was time for the first hard graft of the day! The gang split up to tackle some of our monkey enclosures, including the white-bellied pygmy marmosets, the golden lion tamarins and the pied tamarins. They pulled up all the weeds, laid down some fresh new bark for the monkeys, and planted colourful new flowers; sprucing up the areas and making life more comfortable for our endangered primates. They didn’t even mind when the passing children peered in through the glass, thinking they were the latest addition to the monkey troop!

After a well-deserved lunch break it was time to get back to work, as there is always something to be done on such a huge site. The group split up again to choose from a few different activities. One lucky group got to take shelter from the rain in the gift shop, where they lent a hand putting together gift packs, whilst the other two groups didn’t let the weather dampen their fun and set off up the hill. The first group got stuck in at the crowned lemurs’ enclosure, making short work of clearing the weeds out while the lemurs kept a close eye on them!

The second group quickly burned off their lunch calories by climbing to the very top of the hill, where they were met by a very inquisitive Malayan sun bear, who came right up close to inspect the volunteers. They then gave the giant anteater’s enclosure a welcome makeover, clearing the overgrown weeds and tidying it up, all while the anteater slept soundly in his bed, peacefully unaware of all the hard work going on! We’re sure he loved the surprise when he eventually woke up from his (15 hours on average) sleep.

After all that, our volunteers headed home for their own hard earned sleep! We’d like to say thank you so much to the group for choosing to spend the day with us and being so enthusiastic and hands on. Whilst their tasks may have been quite small, they go a long way to help our modest care team focus their attention on the care of the animals, and, in the grand scheme of things, the conservation efforts that the zoo is committed to.

If you are interested in swinging by the zoo for your next corporate volunteer day contact us at education@belfastzoo.co.uk or 028 9077 6277.