Chimpanzee Star


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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 in a very small space. Animal experiments on apes have been banned in Austria since 1997, and 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. Star is our oldest chimpanzee, but in top shape. She loves to play with Spätzle before breakfast. Their loud laughter can then be heard from afar. Just five years ago, Star was completely inaccessible and a loner. She was neither interested in her fellow species nor in the keepers. Due to the regrouping, but especially when Benjamin joined the group, Star's life changed abruptly. Benjamin has definitely brought out Star's softer side. She shows this through long grooming sessions with her mates. Through the daily new challenges and the opportunity to use the outdoor facilities, she has developed into an open, friendly and sociable chimpanzee. To the special "joy" of our keepers, she carries thistle bushes into the living room with gusto.

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