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Meet Chippie, Gill and Peter

Follow the path by the river and you’ll find our chimpanzees Chippie, Gill and Peter on their own private island. They’re free to roam and forage on the island for most of the day and sometimes they’ll even choose to sleep outside.

Chippie, our male chimpanzee, was born here at the park and will be 37 this year. Gill, our female, is 54 and came to us eight years ago. Peter is our newest resident, he’s 31 and  joined the troop as part of our ongoing work for the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. All three chimps get on well – especially Peter and Chippie, who you might spot playing together.

Can you spot them?

If they’e feeling sociable, you can view our chimps from the platform on the riverbank. You might spot some typical chimp behaviours, such as grooming, hunting for food or talking to each other with a series of lip smacks, teeth chattering, grunts or screeches.

Why do the chimps live on the island?

Chimpanzees can be quite territorial. Having their own space means they’re more relaxed and can live naturally, roaming for food, playing and snoozing when they wish.

Natural chimpanzee behaviours

Our keepers try to limit the amount of contact the chimps have with humans and feed them in a number of different ways that encourage natural behaviour. You might spot food being catapulting onto the island from near the viewing platform! We also hang various enrichments from trees and hide things around the island for the chimps to forage.

Time for bed?

At night our chimps will decide where they want to sleep. The keepers will leave materials for them to build a new bed each night – so it’s up to them whether they want to stay cosy in the house or build their bed out under the stars.

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