Today Enzi the Chimpanzee turns eight and to celebrate Monarto Safari Park is thrilled to share special footage of Enzi and Senior Keeper of Primates, Laura Hanley.
Enzi loves visual enrichment and to support positive mental stimulation Laura read ‘Zuri’ to Enzi, a book written by Laura about the first ever chimp to be born at Monarto Safari Park.
“You can see how engaged Enzi is in the Zuri book and his subtle reactions as he recognises photos of his family in the book.
“It’s pretty special being able to share a book I wrote about his sister, Zuri, with Enzi,” said Laura.
Now eight, Enzi is still young and keepers describe him as curious and adventurous.
“Chimpanzees are incredibly intelligent and share 98.8 per cent of DNA with us humans so it’s important we provide enriching opportunities to keep them mentally stimulated.
“Enrichment comes in all forms, from treats to reading books!”
The whole troop got involved in celebrating Enzi’s birthday and enjoyed chimp-tastic colourful enrichment boxes filled with tasty treats.
Enrichment comes in all forms, from books to enrichment boxes and everything in between. It’s one way we provide tip top care to the animals across Zoos SA sites.
Enzi was born to mum Zombi and dad Sandali at Monarto Safari Park in 2015. He lives with big sister Zuri and little sister Zola. There are currently 12 Chimpanzees living at Monarto Safari Park.
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.
As well as our work at the park in increasing awareness about Chimpanzee conservation, Monarto Safari Park also contributes to chimp conservation in the wild by supporting the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Jane Goodall Institute Tchimpounga Sanctuary in Africa.
The birthday celebrations will continue over the weekend as Monarto Safari Park celebrates its 40th birthday on Saturday 21 October.
From its beginnings in 1983 as a breeding and pasture area, to its opening to the public in 1993, Monarto Safari Park has grown in both size and conservation success.
Visitors will enjoy plenty of fun, music and laughs with the planting of a historic time capsule and face-painting. Visitors can also cheer our Run Wild participants across the finishing line.
Director of Monarto Safari Park, Peter Clark, has been working at the park since 2003 and says it’s inspiring to see how the park has evolved, from the first animals in 1983 – two American Bison – to now being one of the largest safari parks in the world.
“Over our 40 years Monarto Safari Park has remained focussed on conservation and we now play a major role in breeding programs for both native and exotic species in South Australia, Australia and the world.
“We’re inviting the community to come along and celebrate 40 fantastic years of Monarto Safari Park,” said Peter.
Entry to the Visitor Centre and the hub of birthday festivities is free.