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Leaf cutter ant

Hanwell Zoo ups the ante this summer

Hanwell Zoo is welcoming 10,000 new additions this summer with the arrival an entire leaf cutter ant colony.

The ants carry up to 50 times their own weight as they harvest leaves each day and have one of the most complex societies in the animal world with an array of roles – from the all-important queen to the industrious leaf cutters and protective soldier ants.

And if that’s not enough, visitors also have a great opportunity to help brighten up the zoo by submitting their own photos for a summer competition. There are plenty of prizes on offer for the winners, including having your work displayed at the park, free membership packages, goody bags and getting to meet your favourite animals at the zoo.

The competition is open to all ages and abilities and to enter, simply head to Hanwell Zoo’s facebook page and add your entry in the comment section of the competitions post, with a short description of your photo. The closing date for entries is 31 July 2019.

The brand-new leaf cutter ants are an amazing new addition to the animals at Hanwell, which already consist of more than 50 species including the ever entertaining meerkats, tamarin monkeys, porcupines, and a family of ring-tailed lemurs.

Spectacular, endangered red-crowned cranes and green peacocks grace the zoo’s Asian aviary, which is dedicated to the conservation of rare birds from the Far East, and the ‘Jungle Walkthrough’ houses a number of fantastic lizards, snakes and butterflies.

The world’s largest rodents called capybara also reside at the zoo, alongside many other species, from the flock of flamboyant flamingos, to more familiar favourites such as goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens and turkeys.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure said: “There are so many reasons to come to Hanwell Zoo this summer and of course there are the wonderful animals are worth a visit any time of year. I’m looking forward to seeing the new colony of leaf cutter ants, which are fascinating creatures.

“I’m really proud to have Hanwell Zoo in the heart of our borough – it’s a real gem for both local people and visitors from far and wide. The zoo also plays a vital role in conservation and education programmes and this would not be possible without the support of our wonderful visitors and volunteers, so I thank everyone involved.”

Visit Hanwell Zoo’s website for details on admission and opening times.

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