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Chimp Den Boxes

Chimpanzees need places to sleep just like we do. Chimps in the wild use foliage to build large nests in tall trees for shelter each night. Those living in captivity need to stay indoors during the night most of the year in order to to keep warm. All our chimps at Wildlife Waystation have heavy moving blankets to create “nests” and snuggle for warmth inside their dens.

We’ve been working to secure funding for two refurbished chimpanzee den boxes during the last year. After decades of use, the existing bedroom facilities were in urgent need of improvement. The refurbishing of those facilities began in August. It is imperative to make any improvements during summer months as by mid-October the evenings in the mountain terrains can become very cold. The chimp dens require reinforced flooring and walls, platforms for sleeping, bullet proof glass windows for viewing and steel wire fencing all around. They also need to be connected to the outdoor enclosures. Chimps are incredibly strong, intelligent, patient and resourceful. We want to make certain our chimps stay safe and sound inside their enclosures. The design and improvement of these dens require special expertise. Keep up-to-date with the process in the photos below.

Chimp Evacuation Tunnel

An emergency can happen at any time and each one is different. During recent fires, we immediately evacuate as many animals as quickly and safely as possible. An enclosed and moveable "tunnel" or aerial walkway would ensure the quickest and safest evacuation possible for our more than 40 chimpanzees, the most difficult and potentially dangerous of all of the animals to move. All of the Chimpanzee “apartments” are connected with runways, which provide several evacuation routes. A tunnel allows us to move each chimp family group through connected runways and then walk them through the runway connected to the transport caging.

This tunnel could mean the difference between having to take the time to anesthetize and carry out each animal, which is stressful and potentially dangerous for the animals and humans. Having a "tunnel" and the chimps trained to use them, will enable our keepers to load the animals quickly and safely into travel crates, 2 per crate and 3-4 on each trailer (depending on the length of the trailer).

Watch the progress of our tunnel under construction in the gallery below. We're excited to have a ribbon cutting when construction is complete on these projects.