Major ‘monkey business’ announced at Memphis Zoo
Zimm returns to exhibit; new primates debut; and Primate Canyon gets makeover
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Nov. 9, 2016) – The Memphis Zoo today announced major monkey business is happening in Primate Canyon and CHINA, including the reintroduction of the famous escape artist, “Zimm;” the addition of a new troop of other Sulawesi crested black macaques; and rearranging of several exhibits.
Zimm, a 5-year-old Sulawesi crested black macaque, escaped in June 2015 from her enclosure in Primate Canyon by scaling the wall and jumping over precautionary measures, such as the moat and fencing. She took refuge in the underground drainage system on Zoo property, where she remained until she was returned safely to the custody of the zookeepers. Since then, the zookeepers have been working with her behind the scenes on various training initiatives and enrichment activities designed to provide stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physical health.
Zimm now resides in an updated exhibit in CHINA with her new family of six macaques – “Sandy,” “Lyla,” “Cedric,” “Lindberg,” “Marie” and “Stella” – many of whom share the same ancestry. The troop came to Memphis from the Buffalo Zoo in Buffalo, New York.
Zimm is in the middle on the platform.
“Our priority is ensuring that Zimm is happy and healthy,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs for the Memphis Zoo. “She’s really bonding with her new family, and we couldn’t be happier to have them here with us. Sulawesi macaques are on the critically endangered list, and we hope the species’ increased presence here in Memphis will help build awareness of their plight in the wild.”
To accommodate the new troop, several primate exhibits have been rearranged. The new macaque exhibit at the Memphis Zoo is located in CHINA in the former enclosure of the white-cheeked gibbons and Asian small-clawed otters. The gibbons and otters now reside in the former siamang exhibit, and the two siamangs are now living with the Sumatran orangutans in their mixed-species enclosure in Primate Canyon.
“It was challenging to figure out new arrangements for our primates, but our excellent team of animal care staff did a remarkable job with the new configuration,” Thompson said. “The transition was seamless for our primates. It’s exciting when we get to make these types of changes – it makes for a whole new experience at the Zoo!”
About Sulawesi Crested Black Macaques
Sulawesi crested black macaques are easily recognized by their all-black faces, distinctive crest of hair and the female’s bright pink, heart-shaped rear. Native to only a few Indonesian islands, they live primarily in rainforests. However, these macaques are also more terrestrial than many other monkey species, spending most of the day on the ground foraging. They live in large, mixed groups controlled by an alpha male. The species is critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. In the last 40 years, their population has decreased by 80 percent. Macaques have been kept at the Memphis Zoo since 2001.