A Norfolk zoo said farewell to one of its "well-loved favourite" animals after he went overseas to take part in a breeding programme. 

William - a siamang, part of gibbons species - was born at Banham Zoo in April 2009 and has lived at the attraction since. 

But last week he was sent to DierenPark Amersfoot in the Netherlands to become part of an international breeding programme. 

Siamangs are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with the biggest reasons for their decline being habitat loss and the illegal pet trade.

They are the largest of the gibbons and are native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury: William's new home is in the NetherlandsWilliam's new home is in the Netherlands (Image: Banham Zoo)

Claudia Roberts, CEO of The Zoological Society of East Anglia, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with DierenPark Amersfoort in the Netherlands to support the Siamang international breeding programme.

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"As a result, our well-loved favourite William has started the next chapter in his life to be part of this essential breeding programme."

She added: "Having been born at the zoo, William will be missed greatly by both keepers and visitors alike and I thank all our wonderful keepers for all they did taking care of him at ZSEA Banham Zoo.

"We look forward to hearing about the exciting experiences and adventures that lie ahead for him.”