It was widely publicised in the local and national news when, back in December 2018, Chester Zoo, one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions, tragically suffered a large fire in the Monsoon Forest area of their Islands exhibit.

CLM has worked with Chester Zoo for many years, starting back in 2011 when we supplied and installed the steel and glass for the African Painted Dogs exhibit.  We have since successfully completed many further projects, including extensive work in Islands and Monsoon Forest, which opened in 2015.

During the years working at Chester Zoo, CLM has worked very closely with the animal keepers to develop an understanding of the various species. This has allowed us to help with the design of the new enclosures and the selection of appropriate materials.

Of course, by working in close proximity to the animals, the CLM team has developed a strong affinity with the various species and when we heard about the devastating fire, we were keen to help in any way we could.  We visited the zoo as soon as it was safe to do so once the fire had been extinguished and met with their team to offer any immediate assistance.

The fire had destroyed the windows within part of the Monsoon Forest and so the Sumatran orangutans could not immediately return to the indoor sections of their habitat from their safe, external area. This was a concern to the keepers due to the cold winter weather and so it was important that new windows frames were manufactured and fitted quickly so the orangutans could choose to return back inside as soon as possible.

CLM prioritised this important work for the zoo, providing immediate resources to ensure that the new windows were fabricated and fitted within just a few days. The orangutans were then able to move back inside their habitat and out of the cold.

We were so pleased to be able to help these precious and critically endangered animals and also to be able to support one of our most important customers during a very difficult time.