Lizzy and chimp pals go ape at Belfast Zoo party
Approaching the big 40 is a daunting prospect for most ladies, but Lizzy the chimpanzee lapped up the festivities at Belfast Zoo yesterday.
One of the zoo's oldest residents, Lizzy celebrated her 39th birthday with lots of monkeying around.
Kids and adults alike enjoyed the spectacle of the chimpanzee party as the birthday girl was presented with a giant six-tiered jelly birthday cake.
No chimp cake would be complete without their favourite bananas, which decorated the base of the cake and were quickly devoured at the party.
The birthday girl enjoyed other treats including a range of colourful party bags and boxes that kept her and her chimp chums amused for hours.
Lizzy's birthday falls in 'Ape Week' at the zoo, which has been hosting lots of activities to raise awareness of the dangers facing apes and to fundraise for EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria).
Zoo manager Mark Challis said: "Undoubtedly the main reason for the rapid decline of apes is the destruction of their habitats. Apes are also victims of hunting and the live animal trade. These fascinating animals face an uncertain future and without the support of bodies such as EAZA, conservation projects and zoos around the world these animals could disappear forever."