Chimpanzee Jelle


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    Monkey Refuge

Most of the ex-lab chimpanzees were stolen from the jungle as baby apes and had to watch their families being killed. Once in Austria, they were kept in an experimental laboratory for 30 years, without contact with conspecifics and in a very small space. Animal experiments on apes have been banned in Austria since 1997. Since then, the chimpanzees have been reclaiming their lives. Their management and care was handed over to the Safari Park in Gänserndorf, which finally went bankrupt in 2004. Since then, their fate was uncertain. In 2009, they were taken over by Gut Aiderbichl from a bankruptcy estate and have been under our protection ever since. Jelle could already not be integrated into groups in the Netherlands, all attempts failed. Again and again, he was the cause of dangerous power struggles. Therefore, we decided to keep him individually for the benefit of all. Jelle is an extremely intelligent chimpanzee for whom no enrichment task is too difficult. He is a passionate nest builder, comments on food with loud cries of joy and has developed a special fondness for onions. When Jelle's slipcase to the outdoor enclosure opened for the first time, there was no stopping him. He often likes to sit high up in the tree. If he feels unobserved, he tends to try out everything. He tries to loosen nuts and bolts and challenges our keepers who have to check his enclosure very carefully every day.

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