Giant ants invade Paignton Zoo
Published: 5th Feb 2014A long line of colourful ants is marching through Paignton Zoo. The 8-inch insects form a trail that will lead from the Zoo’s entrance building all the way to the new invertebrate…
A long line of colourful ants is marching through Paignton Zoo.
The 8-inch insects form a trail that will lead from the Zoo’s entrance building all the way to the new invertebrate house, a distance of over 300 metres.
The invaders are pictures which are being coloured in and hung up. The Amazing Ant Trail will guide visitors to the new Investigate exhibit, which is due to open at Easter.
Paignton Zoo’s Jenny Paton has organised the trail. “Each year leading up to our 100th birthday we will be celebrating a different aspect of natural history. This year we’re celebrating invertebrates. The aim of the trail is to raise vital funds for our conservation projects – we want lots of people to join in, have fun, make a donation and help us take our ants all the way to the centre of the Zoo! For a suggested minimum donation of £3 for one picture or £5 for two you can colour them in as you want and hand them back to us.
“We hope children, schools, businesses and adults will all join in. Budding artists are of course very welcome, but the great thing is, you don’t need to be able to draw - the outline of the ant is provided, you just colour it in.”
The arty ants are 8 inches (19 centimetres) long. “We think it might take over a thousand ants to reach the invertebrate house - but if we get more drawings we will just keep going! In the wild, ant colonies can have many thousands of ants in them, so we have a long way to go to match that!”
The pictures will be secured to a line so that visitors can see them and laminated to protect them from the weather. They will be on display for the next year – and artists will also be able to see their work on the Paignton Zoo website.
Visitors can pick up an ant trail sheet from the information desk at Paignton Zoo.
Investigate, which will feature species including ants, giant spiders and scorpions, is due to open at Easter. Mike Bungard, Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates, said: “We have not done very much with invertebrates at Paignton Zoo and they have some great stories to tell, so this is a terrific new opportunity.” Invertebrates include insects, worms, clams, crabs, octopus, snails and starfish.