A GENEROUS Bromsgrove artist is creating limited edition canvases of Dudley Zoo’s four orangutans to raise funds for their new £800,000 outdoor enclosure appeal.

David Skidmore has already started work on the graphite pencil-drawn sketches of Benji, Jorong, Jazz and Sprout, which will be sold in the zoo's Safari Shop from the middle of next month.

The award-winning, semi-professional artist has already been behind the scenes to meet the Bornean orangs and spent time sketching and photographing them in an effort to capture their characters.

Originally from Cradley, 58-year-old David, said: “I offered to draw the orangs as I’m a wildlife artist and conservationist at heart and hopefully the prints will give the zoo’s orangutan enclosure appeal a boost.

“I’m making good progress with Benji after having to play around a little with the light, so as to capture his eyes to the best effect.

"I hope to complete the composition of all four orangs by the start of November and each limited edition print will come with a signed certificate of authenticity.”

Cradley Heath-based printing firm Dunns Imaging has also come on board with the artistic project and has offered to produce the canvases at a reduced cost, to allow as much money as possible to go towards the appeal.

So far the zoo has raised almost £330,000 towards building an entirely separate outdoor enclosure, which it hopes to start within three years.

The money has been pulled together through donations, fundraising activities by zoo supporters and all purchases of adult and little zoo keeper experiences are being added to the total too.