A new look: A section of the new luxurious, serene and rainforest-like home for the Rockhampton Zoo's chimps Cassie and ockie.
A new look: A section of the new luxurious, serene and rainforest-like home for the Rockhampton Zoo's chimps Cassie and ockie. Allan Reinikka

Secret life of chimps

IT’S luxurious, serene and it feels like you’re walking through an African rainforest.

Yesterday Rockhampton Regional Council gave The Morning Bulletin an exclusive peek into the Rockhampton Zoo’s chimpanzees Cassie and Ockie’s new home.

The home, which covers 1260 sq m, has heated benches for the chimps to sit on, veterinary facilities and will soon have the amenities to introduce new chimps if the opportunity comes up in the future.

But for now, the major priority is to let Cassie and Ockie settle into their new space before introducing their world to the public for viewing in the next few weeks.

The social creatures were moved into the night-house component of the new chimp enclosure on Tuesday while the final touches of construction are completed by council.

The boys left the old enclosure where they have lived for 20 years, and it will become an extension of their new home in coming weeks.

Their new home is six times the size of the old one and while they started to explore as soon as they were moved in, yesterday the chimps were camera-shy as they started to claim their new territory.

The space utilises existing landscape with other local plant species similar to those of the African rainforests, and they are incorporated into the robust design.

Natural structures have been formed into a playground for the chimps.

A waterfall is planned as an addition.

The interactive new home features large glass viewing windows to let visitors get close to the chimpanzees. This will happen in a few weeks time.

The design will let visitors feel as though they are walking through a rainforest. 
 
 
Read more: US chimp victim to sue for $A166 million



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