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Taronga Zoo’s world renowned Chimpanzee exhibit will receive a $7.1 million makeover . The refurbishment would include the construction of a new aviary like structure to enable Taronga Zoo keepers to introduce new Chimpanzees to the group more safely.

Taronga Zoo’s Chimpanzee group is internationally recognised for it’s similarity to Chimpanzee communities in the wild.

This $7.1 million renovation, 75 per cent of which is being funded directly by the NSW Government, will enable keepers to more easily introduce new Chimps into the Taronga group without risking the safety of staff or animals.

There will also be new climbing structures, strong and stable enough to withstand the shaking and thumping from some of the more enthusiastic adult males in the group – and a large wet weather area for rainy days.

The construction works will necessitate the biggest relocation of primates in the Zoo’s history,
presenting some very real challenges for our talented team of Zoo keepers.
All in all 19 Chimpanzees will be relocated next month to a temporary home in the Zoo’s Orang-utan enclosure, nearby.

The move will mean that some Chimps will not be on public display for a few days while the transfer is taking place.

Work is expected to commence on the revitalisation of the Chimpanzee exhibit by the end of the year and will be completed in 2011.

The ability of Zoos to manage Chimpanzees is becoming more important as Chimpanzee numbers in Africa are dwindling from habitat loss and human pressure.

At Taronga, keeper talks and information sessions help to educate the community about the threats facing these apes worldwide - from logging and poaching to the encroachment of farming on Chimpanzee habitats.

This is an exciting new development for Taronga and the latest in a string of projects funded by the State Government through the 12 year, $225 million Master Plan for NSW’s premier zoos.

In addition to the works already outlined, the renovated enclosure will include places where family members can get out of sight when they want to avoid family disputes, and behind the scenes the chimpanzees’ night areas will also be refurbished.

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