INTERNATIONAL experts including TV vet Steve Leonard will take part in a summit about primate conservation at Chester Zoo next week.

The conference, to which the public are encouraged to attend, will highlight the main issues being faced by those working in front-line ape conservation across the globe.

Ahead of his appearance on Saturday, May 7, Leonard, the star of BBC One’s Orangutan Diary, has warned some species could become extinct unless people act now.

He said: “Apes are iconic. They’re charming, they’re comical, they’re intelligent, they’re charismatic and they’re so, so like us. We can relate to them and empathise with them.

“So if we can’t save the apes then how can we save the rest of the natural world?

“The event is bringing together some leading international experts who are working to save endangered species of ape and presents a unique opportunity for people to come and discover exactly what is being done and what needs to be done in order to ensure they continue to survive.”

Chester Zoo’s Ape Summit, as part of EAZA’s 2011 Ape Campaign, will feature a day of talks, presentations and films and will bring together an international array of experts working on the front line of primate conservation. It will focus on species such as gorillas, orang-utans, chimpanzees, gibbons and bonobos.

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