Two groups of chimpanzees relocated to Safaripark De Beekse Bergen (Netherlands)
In June two groups of chimpanzees (a mixed group of 9 animals and a group of 4 males) were moved to Safaripark De Beekse Bergen. These animals were part of the chimpanzee group that was planned to move to Primadomus, a monkey-specialised facility in Spain planned by “Stichting Aap”.
When this initiative fell through, Minister van der Hoeven decided to search for a suitable place among Dutch zoos. This resulted in an agreement with Safaripark Beekse Bergen where new facilities have been built. A third group of 19 animals will follow early in 2007. Dierenpark Amersfoort, where a new facility is under construction, have also agreed to take 20 chimpanzees. These animals, belonging to the West-African subspecies (Pan troglodytes verus), will be part of a European breeding programme. This programme has been set up to preserve this endangered subspecies for the future.
So far a total of 63 BPRC chimpanzees have been relocated to zoos and safariparks.
On 4th July, Maria van der Hoeven, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science officially opened the new chimpanzee facility at Safaripark De Beekse Bergen.
The animals had been allowed to familiarise themselves with their new home during the previous week. After the official opening, they carefully explored and took possession of the big island. So that they could also join in the festivities, the chimpanzees were given fruit cakes.