Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

Opening Times: 10am - 5pm

Twycross Zoo Veterinarians Probe Ape Heart Disease

As part of an international research project into ape heart disease, vets here at Twycross Zoo are the first to have recorded an electrocardiogram (ECG) trace in a chimpanzee without the need for general anaesthesia.

All four species of great ape, which includes chimpanzees, are endangered in the wild and cardiac disease among captive populations presents a significant threat to the long-term survival of these primates.

Sarah Chapman, our Head of Veterinary Services explains: “Ape heart disease is a priority research area in international zoos. It is tragic when any ape dies of heart disease, but it also represents a significant loss to the species as a whole because they are endangered in the wild.”

We are a World Primate Centre and the only zoo in the UK to house all four species of great ape. Our vets frequently conduct routine health checks of our apes, including chest radiographs, blood pressure readings, cardiac ultrasounds and ECGs. However, general anaesthesia can affect the results.

One of our twenty-five chimpanzees has been successfully trained to remain still long enough to allow an ECG trace to be recorded using long, specially-designed probes. Vet Sarah added: “Diagnostic tests help us to investigate the health of our animals and prevent heart disease. We are proud that we have found a new way of checking one of our chimps and we are working with our other chimps to achieve this with them too.”

February Half Term Savings!

BOOK zoo tickets NOW for only £11 per adult & £5.50 per child admission tickets on visits from Saturday 16th – Sunday 24th February 2019!

T&Cs Apply. Book Today

£11/£5.50 includes voluntary gift aid donation. Entry excluding gift aid donation is £10/£5.

Become a TZ Member & SAVE!

  • 364 days of FREE Twycross Zoo entry (excludes Christmas Day)
  • 10% OFF Twycross Zoo entry for accompanying friends and family
  • FREE or discounts on Twycross Zoo events
  • Discounts on Safari Cars
  • FREE* access or discounts on indoor soft play
  • 10% discount in the Twycross Zoo Gift Shop
  • FREE entry to partner zoos across the UK and Ireland per Membership year

T&Cs Apply. Find out more