TWO Black Country zoo keepers will take on a mountainous challenge to help save an endangered species.

Nicola Wright, from Stourbridge and Steph Sawyer from Stourton will tackle the three peaks challenge on July 5 to raise funds to help preserve the natural habitat of Sulawesi crested black macaques.

The challenge will see the Dudley Zoo primate keepers climb the three highest mountains in the UK - Scotland’s Ben Nevis, Snowdonia in Wales and Scafell Pike in Cumbria - in just 24 hours.

Nicola, aged 31, said: “We’re joining ten other keepers from five zoo collections around the UK for the climb in aid of Selamatkan Yaki – a conservation, research and education programme in Indonesia, which is working to save the species. It should be good fun and a great way to raise awareness to the plight of the Sulawesi crested black macaques.”

They will be walking a total of 13 hours, on a 27 mile route, while also attempting to catch a few hours sleep in between.

Steph, aged 26, said: “We’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s a bit daunting, but we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ve tried to do as much training as possible after work. I’ve started jogging and my dog is getting very long walks at the moment, while Nicola is working out on the cross trainer. Our daily job is quite physical and hopefully the hilly zoo site will also put us in good stead.”

However one challenge the girls are currently facing is attempting to build their tent, Nicola added: “Neither of us camp, so we’ve had to borrow a tent and we’re having to practise regularly around the zoo site to try and figure how to put it up.”

To sponsor the pair, click here.