Linesmen's monkey business helps Durrell howlers

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Durrell has taken delivery of an unusual load that will benefit both residents and visitors alike. One of our Overhead Lines Teams salvaged five eight metre-long telegraph poles and took time out to deliver them to the zoo to create aerial pathways for primates.

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First to benefit will be howler monkeys. Durrell Head of Animal Collection Mark Brayshaw explained: ‘We have two groups of black and gold howler monkeys at Durrell, the largest of which live in an enclosure in the central area of the zoo. howler monkeys prefer to travel high up off the ground, and have a tail they can use to grip with, effectively giving them five limbs.

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‘We will use some of the donated poles to connect their existing habitat with a large tree outside the enclosure, using ropes to create an aerial pathway. This will run adjacent to a pedestrian walkway so not only will the poles help to provide more enrichment for the Howlers by giving them a larger area, it will also enable visitors to get a much closer view of them.

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‘We hope to have the modifications done by Easter. We can use the other poles elsewhere on site, such as in the bear and lemur exhibits, for which we have future plans. The poles are very durable and perfect for jobs such as these. Jersey Electricity approached us with the offer which saves us purchasing them from the UK – thank you JE!’

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JE moves power lines from overheads to underground whenever practicable to increase supply security. In the past year our teams have replaced 7km of 415kV overhead mains from the network and extensive work to remove more around Durrell itself is taking place.

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Glen Richardson, Overhead Supervisor, said: ‘There can be various reasons for removing overheads. Sometimes it can be in an area that proves to be vulnerable. In this particular case, a premise in Trinity needed an increased supply and this could not be provided through overheads which are limited to 60Amps. Our Planners worked out a way to provide a bigger supply by removing the overheads and going underground. We are very glad the poles can be of good use to Durrell and the boys were pleased to help.’

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