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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 10:57 UK
European first for Bristol Zoo

The BBC's Isobel Webster on the adventure course

Bristol Zoo Gardens has unveiled a new aerial adventure course in time for the Summer season.

ZooRopia enables visitors to swing alongside some of the Zoo's most popular inhabitants, including gibbons, gorillas and lemurs.

The course snakes through 17 animal themed sections and finishes with a zip wire onto the Zoo's main lawn.

It is the first ropes course in Europe that is accessible to children as young as five and set within a zoo.

Bristol Zoo Garden's Alex Page said: "ZooRopia is the result of months of hard work by a lot of people so it's great to see it open now - I've had a go myself and its fantastic fun.

"It gives visitors of all ages the chance to swing next to some of our most popular primates while enjoying a great birds' eye view of the animals and the Zoo grounds."

Innovative system

ZooRopia is up to five metres (16 feet) high and participants use an innovative, continuous belay system so that, once fastened into a harness by an instructor, the adventurer remains secured to a rope and completely safe at all times.

It also gives participants the ability to move freely and at their own speed.

Head 4 Heights is the company operating the new ropes course and managing director, Rod Baber, said: "ZooRopia at Bristol Zoo is the first ropes course of its kind to date.

"It offers a fantastic opportunity for young and old alike to experience moving around like primates in a totally safe environment - after all, millions of years ago our ancestors came down from the trees, now we all have a chance to go back up again!"

ZooRopia is suitable for visitors aged five and over and participants must be over 1.1 meters tall.

The course will be staffed by trained instructors at all times and charges and restrictions will apply.

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