Ape Heart Project

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What is the Ape Heart Project?

Twycross Zoo is leading research into cardiovascular (heart) disease in great apes.

Heart disease is often reported as a significant cause of death among captive great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). However, our understanding about the condition and consequently our abilities to treat and prevent it are limited. In particular, very little work has been done looking at the European population of apes.

Twycross Zoo and The University of Nottingham are leading the way in an exciting project. An international team of vets, cardiologists and researchers are working hard to better understand great ape heart disease.  This work will help us to provide even better care not only for our animals but all captive great apes across Europe.

This project is part of an EAZA Great Ape TAG endorsed initiative striving to develop a collaborative and co-operative approach to the investigation of cardiovascular disease among the European captive great ape population.


How you can help

If you work for a zoo or are a vet/cardiologist and would like more information on how you can get involved, please click on the links below.

If you are a member of the public and think you might be able to help us in some way please get in touch. There are two main ways you can help support our efforts.

Donation of equipment or supplies (this list is by no means exhaustive);

  • Echocardiography equipment (machines, probes)
  • ECG equipment (electrodes, leads, paper)
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Stethoscopes



Opening Times: 10am - 6pm