THERE were some unlikely benefits to the St Jude storm this week for animals at Isle of Wight Zoo.
Four tonnes of fallen timber collected by Island Roads and contractor Groundsell after the wild weather have been donated to the Sandown attraction.
Some will be used by primates as climbing apparatus, while larger pieces will be scratching posts for the zoo’s world famous big cats.
Staff from Groundsell and Island Roads delivered the wood to the zoo yesterday (Tuesday).
Charlotte Corney, the Isle of Wight Zoo manager, said: "We’re always on the prowl for decent branches which can be used as climbing apparatus for our monkeys and lemurs.
"We also need a constant supply of logs with bark on for our big cats to use as giant nail files to keep their claws in good order. This is especially important as they age. Needless to say, there aren’t many volunteers for performing manicures on tigers and lions so the logs provide a natural and effective solution.
"Shortly after the storm, we contacted Island Roads to see if they could help by dropping off some of the trees and branches collected from our roads.
"We thought it was a long shot but to our great excitement they immediately got in touch and agreed to swing by with a fantastic consignment of timber which is perfect. We can’t thank them enough. Christmas has come early this year."
Paul Herbert, Island Roads Service Director, said: "We are very keen to support local businesses and also to make sure the materials that come our way are put to good use. It made perfect sense to help out the Isle of Wight Zoo in this way and we were delighted to be able to assist."