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A day in the Monkey House

They seek shelter from the rain and we head outdoors to see them

They seek shelter from the rain and we head outdoors to see them

It’s raining in Stuttgart, so what else to do but visit the Wilhelma again?

Entering the new enclosure

Entering the new enclosure

Enthusiastic guests indoors in the new enclosure

Enthusiastic guests indoors in the new enclosure

The gorillas and bonobos have officially moved in to their new home and boy what a home! We’ve been meaning to see the 20 million Euro enclosure since it opened one and a half weeks ago and finally got the chance on a rainy Sunday. Despite the rain, the park was still well visited.

A young gorilla orphan thrills visitors with his antics

A young gorilla orphan thrills visitors with his antics in the Gorilla Kindergarten

It’s very much concrete and glass but it’s big, it has a large outdoors area and best of all, it has a gorilla Kindergarten where orphaned baby gorillas get the individual care that they need. It was amazing to watch them play around as a zookeeper sat in their indoor enclosure with them. She spoke to them as if they were human children and they seemed to respond to her. The similarities in humans and gorillas always astounds me.

Inside the new enclosure: plenty to keep the gorillas and bonobos busy

Inside the new enclosure: plenty to keep the gorillas and bonobos busy

What is also really cool about this new enclosure is that they’ve really put a lot of thought into it. There are many ways in which the animals can entertain themselves, from games where they have to use a stick to push food through holes in a perspex box until the food is within reach, to water fountains and even a TV that the bonobos can control and watch at specific times of the day. There is plenty for them to do and for visitors to observe.

I know that I could have stood there all day watching those young gorillas playing around with so much energy and interacting like little people.

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