Paignton Zoo’s gorillas are helping to celebrate Giving Tuesday by painting

Silent Roar by Rishi Ludgate

Silent Roar by Rishi Ludgate - Credit: Archant

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Tuesday, December 1 is ‘Giving Tuesday’. Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to charities, like Paignton Zoo. It is a day of generosity and giving back, to balance the heady mass consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to support good causes. The Giving Tuesday global campaign has been running in the UK since 2014, and now officially runs in over 70 countries worldwide.

Activities will include live Q&As with keepers and live enrichment with the animals through their Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the day. There will be an online auction on eBay of a stunning tiger painting by Torbay artist, Rishi Ludgate, who kindly donated the piece during the first lockdown. In addition, the zoo will be running a raffle to win an original painting done by the zoo’s Western Lowland gorillas.

Senior keeper, Katie: “At Paignton Zoo, our keepers do what they can to provide enrichment for the animals. Enrichment is anything you can present to animals that encourages them to be stimulated both mentally and physically and generally enhances animal care.

“Our gorillas find painting fun and enjoyable and you can really see how much they concentrate on what they are doing. The paint used is non-toxic and safe for animals. The canvas used is clean from any zoonosis, as the gorillas do not touch the canvas except when using the tool. If a gorilla licks or touches the end of the tool used to paint, it is swapped for a ‘clean’ one. It is always the animal’s choice to take part in activities and the gorillas are never rewarded with food - they simply find painting rewarding enough!”

Tickets cost £2 and can be purchased at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/zoo-gorilla-painting-draw until Tuesday 15th December.

Paignton Zoo has set a Giving Tuesday fundraising target of £20,000; this is the cost of running the zoo for a day. Anyone wishing to support the zoo by making a donation can do so in a number of ways: Online via www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/paigntonzoo-givingtuesday; by text by texting PZOOGIVING to 70085to donate £10; by cheque made payable to South West Environmental Parks sent to Giving Tuesday Campaign, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU. Paignton Zoo would like to thank everyone who has supported them so far during this very challenging year.

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