ASHEBORO, NC - It's time to go "ape" again at the North Carolina Zoo when the park celebrates its fourth annual "Great Apes" event Saturday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Kids and adults can enjoy a variety of activities and learn about these endangered apes during the event dedicated to the zoo's chimpanzees and gorillas.

At the gorilla exhibit, keepers and volunteers will have gorilla artifacts, gorilla conservation information, books about great apes, colored bricks to show the difference in strength among the great apes, and a gorilla arm-span demonstration, where kids can measure their arm span against the arm span of the zoo's male gorilla. Keepers will also do talks and animal feedings there at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

At the chimpanzee exhibit, keepers and volunteers will have chimpanzee artifacts, information about the zoo's chimp groups, games for kids and information on the zoo's 1-year-old chimp Nori. Keepers will also be available for talks and will have a chimpanzee feeding at 2 p.m.

Keepers and volunteers will also demonstrate nest building, which allows visitors an opportunity to build nests like apes do in the wild. A termite mound station will allow kids to fish for termites like wild chimps do, and a foraging station will allow kids to "forage" for plastic toys.

Near the Lemur Island exhibit, visitors can enter a raffle to win a Great Apes Behind the Scenes Tour. Proceeds will go to ape conservation programs.

Along the pathways between the chimp and gorilla exhibits will be educational and informational signs that contain fun facts about chimps, gorillas and other great-ape species.

Coca-Cola is the 2011 signature zoo-events sponsor.

All Great Apes weekend activities are free with regular zoo admission. For more information, call 1-800-488-0444 or visit the zoo's Web site at
The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.