Cheeky chimp: Life is more natural in the new enclosure for Cassie, or is it Ockie?
Cheeky chimp: Life is more natural in the new enclosure for Cassie, or is it Ockie? CHRIS ISON CI--

Chimps misbehave for new enclosure

ON this day, of all days, they should have been on their best behaviour.

But you just can’t reason with a chimp.

So as the dignitaries, including various Rockhampton Regional Council members and Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten, gathered for the official opening of their new enclosure, Cassie and Ockie indulged in some enthusiastic monkey business.

Rockhampton Zoo’s infamously mischievous residents seemed determined to steal attention away from the guests of honour at their housewarming party.

And at least one councillor was on the receiving end as they ranted and spat at those staring into their new, $1.3 million home.

Mr Schwarten, who is used to bad behaviour in Parliament, did not seem too concerned as the chimps charged at the large glass viewing screen and slapped it as hard as they could to scare their observers.

The brothers moved into the enclosure in December and have settled in well to their new environment according to their keepers.

They have much more room to roam and express themselves as the new enclosure is 1000sq m compared to just 200sq m in their old cage.

It was designed to be in tune with a chimp’s natural habitat and met the approval of Bio Security Queensland and chimpanzee experts before construction.

Cassie and Ockie have it to themselves at the moment, but there are plans to introduce more chimps, including females, in the hope of establishing a breeding colony at the zoo.

The brothers moved into the enclosure in December and have settled in well to their new environment



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