Merry Chimpmas: Christmas comes early for Monarto Safari Park’s curious chimpanzees with sacks of fun enrichment gifts delivered to the troop.
And no, Santa and his reindeer haven’t entered their habitat and broken the strict quarantine regulations that apply to Zoos SA’s animals, instead the gifts were carefully and lovingly crafted by volunteers in Monarto Safari Park’s BEEZA (Behavioural Environmental Enrichment for Zoo Animals) group.
Monarto Safari Park Primate Keeper Hayley Lewis said: “The whole troop gets so excited as they watch the keepers set up their Merry Chimpmas enrichment.
“We can’t wait for the four youngsters of the troop (Zuri, Enzi, Hope and three-month-old Zola) to get involved in this year’s celebrations.
“With an age range of 41-years-old to 3-months we are really excited to see how their play differs.
“One thing we do know is that four-year-old Enzi absolutely loves playing with the paper and boxes.
“We have been working with our volunteers all week to prepare some special decorations and presents that the chimps will play with all day long,” said Hayley.
Keepers use enrichment to provide animals with daily variety by creating an environment that allows for physical and mental choices while encouraging the use of natural behaviours.
Monarto Safari Park is home to an incredible troop of 12 endangered chimpanzees, our closest living relatives sharing approximately 98.7% of our DNA.
As a conservation charity, we exist to help save animals like these amazing chimpanzees from extinction in the wild. Visiting Monarto Safari Park is one way that people can help. Another, is by taking part in experiences such as the very popular Meet The Chimps experience where participants go behind-the-scenes and help keepers to prepare the chimps’ delicious and engaging enrichment as well as observe a fascinating training program. Don’t forget, Zoos SA’s animal experiences make for great last minute Christmas presents!
Zoos SA is also involved in helping chimpanzees in the wild by supporting an international breeding program and the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone and the Jane Goodall Institute, Australia.
Both Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo are open 365 days a year, including Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day for those looking for a unique way to celebrate the silly season.
Monarto Safari Park operates summer opening hours (9am – 4.30pm – last admission 2.30pm) from December through to end of February. To ensure everyone (both animal and human) remains cool Zoos SA has installed misters, fans, extra Stratco shades, SA Water stations and air conditioning.
Adelaide Zoo is open from 9.30pm – 5pm.
Holiday fun for everyone
Monarto Safari Park is putting the adventure into school holidays with their ‘Journey to Africa’ campaign. Families can pick up a leaflet from the Visitor Centre and embark on a journey around Africa, collecting stamps and answering questions on the way. There is also a competition to win two tickets to Rhino Express, Monarto Safari Park’s newest animal experience as well as a $50 shop voucher.