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Rambo CREDIT: Hamilton City Council

Suzie creating art piece to be auctioned for Project Rambo CREDIT: Hamilton City Council

Hamilton Zoo volunteer raising funds for Project Rambo
Wednesday 24 February 2010, 9:44AM
By Hamilton City Council


A chimpanzee in Malaysia left such an impression on Hamilton Zoo volunteer host Kim White that she is fundraising to return to the country to help improve its quality of life.

In May last year Ms White participated in a volunteer programme to Malaysia/Borneo, which included spending two weeks working at the Ape Centre at Zoo Negara. During her time there she was introduced to a 20-year-old male chimpanzee named Rambo, who had been confined to a small concrete den for over three years after repeatedly escaping from the outside enclosure. Due to lack of funding the facility has been unable to upgrade the outdoor enclosure or improve Rambo’s living conditions.

“While I enjoyed my time in Malaysia, I left Zoo Negara with a strong determination to do something to assist Rambo and the rest of their chimpanzee and orangutan group,” said Ms White.

After arriving back in New Zealand Ms White sent a proposal to the Director of Zoo Negara offering to return with a builder and zoo keeper in order to modify the chimpanzee enclosure to make it escape-proof and assist with the reintegration of Rambo with other chimps. The proposal was accepted and the trip will be taking place from 19 March to 6 April 2010.

While those undertaking the trip will be paying their own travel costs, they need to raise funds to assist with the costs of upgrading the enclosure.

Dubbed ‘Project Rambo’, the fundraising will centre around a Quiz and Auction Evening at Hamilton Zoo next Saturday [6 March] at 6pm. The evening will include a BBQ dinner, drinks and nibbles, an auction, items for purchase, and a wildlife and conservation-themed quiz. Tickets cost $15 per adult (16 years and over) and are limited to 50 guests.

“Included amongst the auction items will be special artworks painted by Hamilton Zoo’s own chimpanzees Suzie and Sally so there will be some very unique pieces for people to get their hands on – all the while supporting this very special cause,” said Ms White.

Hamilton Zoo is also encouraging donations by offering all those who donate $5 at its reception a chance to win an Eye-to-Eye Encounter with its very own chimpanzee troop (valued at $300). Proceeds from the donations made at Hamilton Zoo reception will be divided between Project Rambo and the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, Africa.

For more information on Project Rambo and the Quiz and Auction Evening, contact Kim White on 07 843 3260 or INDEX