Chester Zoo called on visitors to test their rowing speed against some of the world’s fastest land animals.
Visitors to the zoo were challenged to help conservationists row the equivalent length of the Kinabatangan River in Borneo – which is more than 350 miles long.
Part of the zoo’s PLAY! Active campaign, the zoo teamed up with Grosvenor Rowing Club in Chester to encourage visitors of all ages to be more active, with a fun and inspiring twist.
Budding rowers lined up to test their speed against some of the world’s most threatened animals including a Northern cheetah, Komodo dragon and two-toed sloth.
Head of discovery and learning at Chester Zoo Charlotte Smith said: “It’s great to see so many families enjoying the outdoors and the great benefits that active play can bring, as well as learning about the important conservation work we do here at the zoo and overseas.
“The team from the Grosvenor Rowing Club were fantastic! They really helped inspire those taking part, spurring them on so we could hit our target of 350 miles – the same length of the Kinabatangan River in Borneo where our teams are working to protect wild orangutans.”
More than 500 children and families participated from all over the world while visiting the zoo, rowing a total of 350 miles over a seven day period.
Committee member at Grosvenor Rowing Club Matthew Fenn added: “It’s been great helping get people get active at the zoo, with so many families, friends and children of all ages taking part, we even had visitors from as far away as New Zealand strapping in and clocking up some kilometres.
“There were definitely some future rowers out there who were driven on even more by the chance to help the zoo raise awareness of its conservation campaigns. Some rowers even boasted speeds of up to 21kmph – that’s around the same speed as a Komodo dragon!”
The event, which was part of the zoo’s major PLAY! Active programme, aims to get families to break free of the usual winter fitness regimes and incorporate conservation into a host of fun family games and activities.
The PLAY! themed activities will return to the zoo during the upcoming Easter holidays from 24 March – 15 April, when the focus will be on storytelling. You can find more at www.chesterzoo.org/play .