Chester Zoo

We are proud of our collaboration with Cardiff Metropolitan University and being part of the IPHP. This programme is an effective interdisciplinary partnership that demonstrates evidence based improvements in wild animal welfare and conservation. This is unfortunately rare. The IPHP provide a programme of science based investigation in a conservation concern – cardiac health in great apes. But more importantly, it acts as a model of proof that respectful, insightful and open collaboration yields rapid and helpful results and an opportunity for all partners to improve their knowledge and skills, to collectively improve the health, welfare and conservation of great apes.

Steve Unwin BSc, BVSc, MRCVS
Chester Zoo Veterinary Officer
Veterinary Director (PASA), IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group

Burgers’ Zoo

In July 2013 we had the privilege to work together with Aimee Drane and Robert Shave of the International Primate Heart Project from Cardiff Metropolitan University. They did some heart research on two gorillas in our zoo, who were put under anesthesia for other reasons. Both Aimee and Rob are very professional people and we were impressed with the professional attitude and speed with which they did their work. Furthermore, they are also very passionate about their work and the animals involved. We, here at Burgers’ Zoo (Arnhem, The Netherlands), want to recommend this project wholeheartedly!

Wineke Schoo, Park Manager Burgers’ Zoo
Henk Luten, Veterinarian Burgers’ Zoo

JGI Congo

The IPHP came out to Congo in November 2013; in approximately 12 days we were able to complete cardiac assessments for 102 Chimpanzees as part of their routine health checks. Knowing the cardiac status of our chimps is important to us here at JGI as we have lost chimpanzees to the phenomenon of “sudden cardiac death”.  We still do not understand the causes of these events never mind prevention techniques. We are keen to understand what the “normal” cardiac ranges are for our chimpanzees, especially as we have a successful reintroduction programme in place. The work of the IPHP and their collaborators is helping us to understand the cardiac health of our chimps which is invaluable

Rebeca Atencia – Executive Director JGI Congo


Zoological Society London

The ZSL vet team has been working with Prof. Robert Shave and his team ever since the beginning of the project and have built a very close collaboration. We have been working together trying to understand normal and abnormal cardiac phenotypes  and to determine normal reference ranges for cardiac structure, function, biomarkers and electrical conduction in the great ape species. This is essential for the early diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease. As well as providing reference data, the IPHP cardiac assessments have improved individual health and welfare of two of our chimps at ZSL from a group with known history of sudden cardiac death. They have been fitted with implantable ECG recorders to improve cardiac monitoring and to identify whether significant arrhythmic burden exists that would benefit from pharmacotherapy. It is a pleasure to work with the IPHP and I believe that this is a model that demonstrates how open collaboration between specialists from different backgrounds can result in significant advances in zoo and wildlife medicine.

Yedra Feltrer – DVM MSc MRCVS

Veterinary Officer