Allan Schmidt, Senior Keeper

Primate Keeper Allan
How long have you worked with the Chimp group? 15 years

Do you have a favourite member of the Chimp group and why? Favourites come and go. All of the Chimps have individual personalities and characteristics that develop as they grow. Currently I feel that our youngest Chimp Sule’s boisterous and happy playful nature is the best cure for what ails you.

What do you love most about working with the chimps? Watching their personalities grow and develop.

How do you think the chimps will react to their new exhibit and what aspects of the new Chimpanzee Sanctuary are you most excited about? With great shock and excitement at first. I’m excited that the separation area will help us to manage this community well into the future.

What is your most memorable event whilst working with these primates? There have been so many memorable moments so many that in fact I can’t remember them. Recently Shiba recognised the danger that a loop in a rope presented and so dealt with it accordingly.

What’s the most important thing Zoos like Taronga are doing to help Chimpanzees in the wild? By displaying Chimpanzees in their most natural social environment. Taronga Zoo helps to give people an appreciation of these fascinating close relatives of ours. Once people have this appreciation they can make choices that will positively influence Chimpanzees in the wild.