Monarto Safari Park’s Chimpanzee troop was treated to a stellar performance by the Australian Girls Choir on the first stop of their national tour.
Fifty-eight girls from across Australia performed I Still Call Australia Home and Thulele Mama Ya to our closest living relatives – the inquisitive chimp troop!
The change of scenery from centre stage to the chimp platform was no treble for these young performers and offered a unique experience for both the choir and the chimps.
Keeper Sarah Washford said the Chimpanzees certainly responded to the spectacle.
“The male chimps were particularly interested in the beat of the drum and were ‘displaying’ during the performance.”
Displaying is a term used to describe how Chimpanzees show excitement or dominance. This may include pounding their feet or jumping up and down.
“Our four and a half year old chimp, Hope, was very curious and at one point came right up to the window of the habitat to watch the choir sing.
“Enrichment comes in all forms and this was a great opportunity for the chimps to experience something different.”
We make every day different in some way for the animals in our care to keep them mentally stimulated. Whether it’s music thanks to our friends at the Australian Girls Choir or enrichment items created by the staff and volunteers, it’s all part of how we provide tip top care to the animals at both Zoos SA sites.
Monarto Safari Park is home to 12 Chimpanzees, consisting of seven females and five males.
Sadly, Chimpanzees are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and it’s estimated there are only 150,000 to 300,000 chimps remaining in the wild.
The major threat to Chimpanzees in the wild is habitat loss due to logging, mining, palm oil plantations and human population growth. Chimpanzees are also hunted for the bushmeat trade, where Chimpanzee meat and body parts can be sold on the black market for high profits.
We’re on a mission to save Chimpanzees from extinction and ensure future generations of the Australian Girls Choir and visitors can appreciate these primates who share 98.7% of our DNA.
As well as our work at the park in increasing awareness about Chimpanzee conservation, Monarto Safari Park contributes to chimp conservation in the wild by supporting the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Jane Goodall Institute Tchimpounga Sanctuary in Africa.