GRASP Great Apes


Researching captive animals increases our knowledge on their care and biology, which may not be possible in the wild. Twycross Zoo is home to more than 500 animals from nearly 150 species many of which are endangered in the wild and in conservation breeding programmes. These breeding programmes aim to preserve threatened species and create self-sustaining populations.

We aim to support research which improves welfare, health care and promotes conservation. We are committed to supporting high quality research at all levels from high school projects to post-doctorate theses. Research facilities include a library, computers with standard software, internet access, access to zoo animal records and a database of zoo-specific documents.

In order for the research to be focused on topics most beneficial to the zoo a list of suitable student projects can be obtained by emailing

Ape Heart Project

Twycross Zoo and its partners, including the University of Nottingham and the University of Birmingham are leading the way in an exciting research project. An international team of veterinarians, cardiologists and researchers are working hard to better understand great ape heart diseases. This work will help us to provide even better care not only for our animals but all great apes across Europe and beyond.

Current and Future Research

As the captive environment differs from the natural habitat a large proportion of current research carried out is within the area of animal behaviour. For example, some studies have looked into methods of communication, social interactions, the effect of a new enrichment device, how animals respond to the introduction of a new individual or how behaviours change in the presence of visitors. We are also keen to support analytical studies such as those that focus on nutrition, animal records or veterinary-based projects.

In addition to animal studies we also support and wish to increase studies within the following areas:

  • Conservation
  • Native Species
  • Sustainability and Biodiversity
  • Education
  • Visitor Experience and Learning
  • Marketing and Communications

We also welcome ideas for projects which are not on our list but that could like in with our areas of interest. The BIAZA resources for researchers is a good place to look for additional ideas.

Apply to research


Join the herd - Zebra stripes


Join our mailing list to keep up to date with Twycross Zoo news and special offers.