Monarto Zoo is abuzz with excitement today as it prepares for a very special birthday party in honour of its young Chimpanzee’s second birthday.
Zoo staff have gone to great lengths in preparing for cheeky chimp Zuri’s special day creating a number of gifts and tasty treats which are expected to generate a great deal of excitement among the chimp troop.
Monarto Zoo Primate Keeper, Nicky Tomkinson says with such an adventurous spirit, Zuri is sure to enjoy the birthday festivities.
“Over the last year Zuri has developed into a confident, playful little chimp. During her first birthday celebration she was a little shy, staying close to mum while the other chimps enjoyed the presents, but this year we’re sure she’ll take centre stage during the party,” Nicky said.
“She’s also interacting with the other chimps and the public so much more these days – it’s so cute to watch her play peek-a-boo with visitors along the day-room window and show off her climbing skills as she traverses the entire length of the day-room hanging from the ceiling!
“This year in particular we’ve also noticed a vast improvement in her motor skills as she begins to test her own nest-making skills and learns how to use tools.
“Zuri’s been such a wonderful addition to the chimp family, her presence has turned our group into a true chimp family and it’s wonderful to walk in each morning and hear her laughter ringing through the building.”
For the celebration zoo keepers have created a fun and stimulating environment for the lively group by decorating their home, while brightly coloured paper-mache gifts carefully assembled by a group of dedicated volunteers, are likely to be enthusiastically unravelled within minutes of discovery.
Monarto Zoo Curator, Beth Pohl says Zuri’s birthday party is a great opportunity to celebrate the heart-warming affect she’s had on the chimp family and all of her adoring fans.
“Zuri’s an adorable ambassador for her species building awareness for the plight of Chimpanzees worldwide. As humans share 98.5% of our DNA with chimps, it’s hard for the public not to feel a connection to Zuri and her playful antics,” Beth said.
“She’s a perfect example of why it’s so important to conserve this amazing species and to see her grow and develop into an active member of the chimp family is a true testament to the amazing work happening at Monarto.”
Celebrations kick off Thursday 21 August at 10am, where she will be surprised with a number of enrichment presents. The birthday party will continue on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 August during the 2:15pm chimp talk for those that cannot attend today’s celebration.