Visitors to Chester Zoo were challenged to help conservationists row the equivalent length of the Kinabatangan River in Borneo – which is more than 350 miles long – over the half term holidays, as part of its PLAY! Active campaign.
The zoo teamed up with Grosvenor Rowing Club in Chester to encourage visitors of all ages to be more active, with a fun and inspiring twist.
Budding rowers lined up to test their speed against some of the world’s most threatened animals including a Northern cheetah, Komodo dragon and two-toed sloth.
Charlotte Smith, head of discovery and learning at Chester Zoo, said: “It’s great to see so many families enjoying the outdoors and the great benefits that active play can bring, as well as learning about the important conservation work we do here at the zoo and overseas.”
She added: “The team from the Grosvenor Rowing club were fantastic!
“They really helped inspire those taking part, spurring them on so we could hit our target of 350 miles – the same length of the Kinabatangan River in Borneo where our teams are working to protect wild orangutans.”
More than 500 families participated from all over the world whilst visiting the zoo, rowing a total of 350 miles over a seven day period.
Matthew Fenn, committee member at Grosvenor Rowing Club said: “It’s been great helping get people get active at the zoo, with so many families, friends and children of all ages taking part, we even had visitors from as far away as New Zealand strapping in and clocking up some kilometres.
“There were definitely some future rowers out there who were driven on even more by the chance to help the zoo raise awareness of its conservation campaigns.
“Some rowers even boasted speeds of up to 21kmph – that’s around the same speed as a Komodo dragon!”
The event aimed to get families to break free of the usual winter fitness regimes and incorporate conservation into a variety of fun family games and activities.
The PLAY! themed activities will return to the zoo during the upcoming Easter holidays (from 24th March – 15th April) when the focus will be on storytelling.
Find out more at: www.chesterzoo.org/play