Big party for Rajang's 40th

PREPARATIONS are today gathering pace for Rajang the orang-utan's 40th birthday bash at Colchester Zoo this weekend.

PREPARATIONS are today gathering pace for Rajang the orang-utan's 40th birthday bash at Colchester Zoo this weekend.

Five lucky readers will be taking their families for a VIP experience of the unique primate party after being picked out in The Evening Star's prize draw.

The winners were:

Lindsey Dixon, of Godbold Close, Kesgrave

Nicola Frost, of Ravenswood Avenue, Ipswich

Immanuel Lynch, of Temple Road, Ipswich

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Christine Williams, of Bradley Street, Ipswich

Jake Lensen, of Margaret Street, Felixstowe

The competition attracted a terrific response from well over 100 readers hoping to share in Rajang's special day.

The much-adored animal, who has been a resident of Colchester Zoo since 1980, will be celebrating his ripe old age on Saturday, when he will be presented with a tailor-made birthday cake.

Alex Downing, business development director at Colchester Zoo, said: “We hope all the winners have a fantastic day and get the chance to find out all about Rajang from our primate keepers.

“He's a very special orang-utan, much-loved by all the staff at Colchester Zoo and, of course, our visitors. It is very nice to be able to mark this special occasion for him.

“Our dieticians at the animal kitchen are preparing a fantastic cake for Rajang with all his favourite fresh fruit. I'm not sure that it will have candles though!”

Competition winners will also be given special access to Rajang's compound and have the chance to speak to his keepers before spending the day touring the rest of the zoo.

Rajang was born at Chester Zoo in 1968, but was hand-reared after he was rejected by his mother. According to his keepers, this has made him fond of humans.

Construction of a £1.5million new home for Rajang and his companion, Djambe, is hoped to be completed later this summer.

Do you have any birthday wishes for Rajang? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk