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Taronga's oldest chimpanzee, Lulu. Photo by Rick Stevens

These last few weeks have delivered some extreme weather in Sydney, from hot and dry days to torrential rain and cold winds.

Days like these can disrupt the routine of Keepers, as sometimes the chimps quite simply do not want to go outside!

One of those most likely to enjoy an ‘extended sleep-in’ is our oldest chimpanzee, Lulu.

Lulu is over 60 years old and has been at Taronga Zoo since 1965, when she came to us from St Louis Zoo in the USA.

She is our only ‘wild-born’ chimpanzee and is a sweet old girl who gets around quite gingerly these days. She receives plenty of love and special attention from her Keepers.

But on cold mornings Lulu does tend to be quite stubborn when asked to go outside and will sometimes stay curled up in her nest of shredded paper. When this does happen we need to manage the chimp group somewhat differently.

The slide to the exhibit is left open to give Lulu access in case she wishes to go outside. Of course this allows the other chimps to access the house too, so we do our best to keep the group interested out on exhibit as much as possible.

This can be tricky on cold, wet days and it certainly keeps us on our toes.

But changing routines and managing stubborn animals is all part of a normal day in the life of a Keeper at Taronga Zoo... and we wouldn’t change it for the world!

Simon, Primate Keeper

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