How many of you would love to live in a $7 million home? Sounds excessive, but captive chimpanzees at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo are proud tenants of the state-of-the-art interactive complex.
It’s been designed to allow members of the public to get up close and personal with our nearest cousins. The new home includes a parallel play area where human youngsters can hang on one side of a rope, with the chimps on the other, and a tunnel children can crawl in and be face to face with their distant relatives. People are also able to stand on a viewing deck to see into the enclosure.
Six families now make up the 17 animals at the chimpanzee sanctuary. The eldest is 59-year-old Lulu and the youngest Sule, who was born in 2008. So what do the chimps get for that much cash? Well there’s 12-metre high towers, a network of climbing ropes and a 180kg hammock made out of fire hoses.
Enrichment, or things to play with, are vital to keep primates like apes “happy”. But in my experience one thing that chimps love more than anything else is food!