12/10/2017

Girls Aloud celebrate 10 years together at Bristol Zoo Gardens

They may not have had a top 10 hit for some years, but Girls Aloud are still very much a popular group at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

But this is a different kind of girl group, as Cheryl, Kimberley, Nadine and Sarah are in fact all squirrel monkeys, and now the foursome are celebrating their joint tenth birthdays.

Keepers gifted the monkeys presents to celebrate, a sure way to make the animals ‘jump’ with the ‘something kinda ooh’ ‘promise’ of tasty treats inside. 

The mischievous primates are part of a 19-strong group of squirrel monkeys, ranging in age from 10-month-old Darwin, to 19-year-old Twilek.

Curator of mammals, Lynsey Bugg, said: “When these four squirrel monkeys were born within weeks of each other in 2007, Girls Aloud were at the height of their fame, having just released their fourth album. Our curator of mammals at the time was a big fan so it was an easy decision to name our newest arrivals in their honour.”

She added: “Some people may spot that we are missing the fifth band member, Nicola, but that is simply because we only had four squirrel monkeys born that year!”

Girls Aloud shot to fame after winning ITV show ‘Popstars the Rivals’ in 2002. But the only rivalry the Zoo’s namesakes face is from nearby warty pig Elvis, and giant tortoise Biggie, named after American rapper Biggie Smalls. The, somewhat tenuous, animal connection continues further, as last year Cheryl gave birth to a son she named Bear.

But it is not only pop music that has inspired the names of individuals in the troop. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring had just been released in cinemas when ‘Gollum’ ‘Samwise’, and ‘Gimli’ were born and named in 2001.

A trio born in 2013 were named Snap, Crackle and Pop. Arrivals born in 2014 were named after Breaking Bad characters Jesse and Hank. And whoever named the 2015 arrivals Tyrion and Arya was clearly a Games of Thrones fan. Other arrivals were simply named Nigel, Boris and Darwin.

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