Wednesday 5th August 2020 11:36
Reels of old Thames Water hose pipes destined for landfill have been turned into feeders, toys and play equipment for animals at a safari park and a monkey sanctuary.
The old plastic hose was repurposed by a team building organisation for a pride of lions at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent and Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary in Berkshire.
Gemma Buss, Thames Water’s recycling lead, said: “It’s wonderful to see the animals playing and having fun with their new toys.
“What was once a pile of old hoses that we didn’t need any more should hopefully give them years of pleasure and enjoyment. What’s more, it’s great for the environment as the waste has been diverted from landfill.”
Port Lympne, which has now re-opened after lockdown, is home to 900 animals across 75 species and is the UK’s most successful breeder of clouded leopards and de brazza monkeys, and one of the most successful in the world of western lowland gorillas and fishing cats. Wherever possible, it aims to return animals born at the park to protected areas of their natural habitat.
To date, it has released more than 70 gorillas back to the wild, along with dozens of gibbons and langurs, and eight black rhinos.
For more than 30 years, Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary in Ascot has rescued primates from circuses, laboratories and the pet trade to give them a second chance at life. It is not open to the public.
Owners Jim and Sharon Shaw said: “Our rhesus monkeys love using the hoses as walkways. As the hose is really tough and wide, it enables them to bounce around their enclosure with ease and, for us, it’s great, as they are hard wearing and really long lasting.”
Mark Kingston-Jones, co-founder of Team Building With Bite, said: “It takes a lot to find a material that stands up to destructive monkeys and powerful lions, so we are incredibly grateful to Thames Water for their generous donation.
“It has allowed our groups and supporters efforts to continually enhance animal welfare go significantly further, as this durable material will last years and years in the animals’ enclosures, helping to keep them fit, healthy and engaged.”