TWO intrepid primate keepers from Dudley Zoological Gardens plan to pull out all the stops by taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge this Saturday (July 5).

Nicola Wright and Stephanie Sawyer will push themselves to the limits to help raise funds for critically endangered monkeys known as Sulawesi crested black macaques.

Thirty-one-year-old Nicola, from Wollaston, and 26-year-old Stephanie, from Stourton, will be joining ten other keepers from five zoo collections around the country to scale the three highest mountains in the UK - Scotland's Ben Nevis, Snowdonia in Wales and Cumbria based Scafell Pike.

They will be looking to complete the feat within 24 hours and have already been in strict training for the event.

Dudley Zoo plays home to four male and four female macaques. They originate from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where numbers have fallen alarmingly due to the clearing of rain forests. The animals are also being hunted for meat.

Money raised from the challenge will go to Selaqmatkan Yaki, a conservation, research and education programme in Indonesia which is working to save the species.

Last year the zoo raised £363 for Selamatkan Yaki by staging a quiz night.

A bucket collection for the cause was also held at the tourist attraction recently after Nicola took part in a question and answer session about the monkeys.

Anyone wishing to support the girls can visit the mountaineers' fundraising page at and search for Nicola Wright or Stephanie Sawyer.