Tulivu, one of the young female gorillas at the Zoo. (The Zoo's bachelor gorillas are Hasani, Jack and Mashudu.)
Zoo Plans a Gorilla Bachelor PadAug 26, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The ABQ BioPark Zoo is planning a Gorilla Bachelor Pad for its three adolescent males. Zookeepers are leading efforts to raise $50,000 for the addition to the Ape House. The first fundraiser is “Asian Dining to Help Apes” at Fan Tang Asian Kitchen in Nob Hill on Sunday, August 28 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fan Tang is donating 40% of Sunday’s proceeds to the project.
The Bachelor Pad adds 720 square feet to the existing building. A viewing window allows visitors to see the gorillas inside and watch keepers training the animals. With suspended hoses, tires, platforms and hammocks, the space is designed for play and rest. The adolescent males are growing more rambunctious, and the older females do not like the rough play. The addition gives keepers more options for managing the social dynamics of the Zoo’s gorilla troop.
“We have been blown away by the support from the community for this project,” said Debbie Wiese, Mammal Supervisor. “Our keepers are very enthusiastic about fundraising and putting in volunteer hours to make things happen. Plus we have super generous partners, including Fan Tang and the Young Professionals of Albuquerque. The apes are going to benefit immensely.”
The Young Professionals of Albuquerque co-host the second gorilla fundraiser “Grapes with the Apes” on September 16 from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the Zoo. This social event features wine and other drinks, food, music with a DJ and a keeper meet-and-greet along the Ape Walk. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance.
Original artwork by gorillas, orangutans and other primates is available for purchase at both events and online through the NM BioPark Society. Painting is part of the Zoo’s enrichment program; each ape has its own style for working with the non-toxic tempera paints.
The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For more information, visit www.abqbipark.com or call 311 locally or (505) 768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).
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