The Great Ape-ril
Learn about the Great Apes throughout the month of April. Enjoy hands-on discovery stations, hear keeper talks and find out what you can do to help apes around the world.
- Meet the gorilla troop.
- Watch orangutans play.
- Bounce across the bridge and into the gazebo to see siamangs.
- Head over to Africa to see chimpanzees.
Gorilla. Photo courtesy of Kathy Dominguez.
Gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and siamangs are apes, not monkeys. Apes have long arms, no tails and heavier bodies than their monkey relatives. Most apes are omnivores, eating fruit, vegetables and meat on occasion.
Apes are curious, playful and intelligent. Zookeepers use enrichment to keep the apes active and engaged. Boxes, balls and other toys filled with fruit and treats encourage natural behaviors like foraging and puzzle solving. Watch apes open special Easter goodies and holiday gifts.
Ebola and Apes
The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the most deadly outbreak for humans in the history of the virus. But humans weren't the only species affected. In the past 30 years an estimated 1/3 of the world’s gorilla and chimpanzees have died from contracting Ebola.
Our Actions Matter
Forests provide food, water, shelter and space to apes. Essential habitat is being destroyed by farming, development of roads and mineral and resource extraction. Poaching also continues to threaten ape species. Apes need our protection:
- The Association of Zoos & Aquariums help support wild ape populations through Species Survival Plans (SSPs).
- Adopt an ape. Become a Zoo Parent.
Resources and Links
- Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
- Jane Goodall Institute
- Pan African Sanctuary Alliance
- Orangutan Foundation International
- World Wildlife Fund