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Primates to have new home in Bratislava

BRATISLAVA Zoo is building a new primate pavilion. It will be located in the very heart of the zoo, near the predator pavilion, and should be completed by the end of 2009. The roof and rafters are already constructed, and contractors will this month assemble the roof’s framework, the SITA newswire wrote.

Mayor Ďurkovský (right) at the new primate pavilion.(Source: SITA)

BRATISLAVA Zoo is building a new primate pavilion. It will be located in the very heart of the zoo, near the predator pavilion, and should be completed by the end of 2009. The roof and rafters are already constructed, and contractors will this month assemble the roof’s framework, the SITA newswire wrote.

“The pavilion is designed to use the available space in an ideal way, with respect to the primates’ ethological needs, and is in compliance with modern views on breeding animals in the closed space of zoos,” Miloslava Šavelová, director of Bratislava Zoo, said on November 5. “It also fulfils educational requirements , as it will also be used for learning about primates.”

The entire pavilion, the construction of which began last September, will have a cover, backlighting, air conditioning, power, and water mains. It will house orangutans, gibbons and chimpanzees.

Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský said the pavilion’s construction is a unique project of importance for both the city and the zoo.

“It is a priority project for us, as the zoo is a part of the capital and it needs certain facilities to be included in the global network of zoos,” he said.

The total cost may reach Sk103 million (€3.419 million), of which more than Sk50 million (€1.660 million) has already been invested.

Šavelová said the pavilion will be divided in two main parts: one for Sumatran orangutans and yellow-cheeked crested gibbons, and the other for chimpanzees.

“The interior floor space will be smaller in the part for orangutans,” zoologist Martin Krug explained to SITA. “But the animals will be able to go higher, as they normally tend to live in trees. We will make about 14 to 15 metres accessible to them.”

The floor space for the orangutans will be about 90 square metres, compared with 40 square metres for the chimpanzees. The outer space for orangutans will stretch across 600 square metres. Krug added that the zoo has been promised a pair of adolescent male orangutans aged seven and eight years from Prague Zoo.

If the zoo chooses to breed chimpanzees, it is considering breeding the West-African type, which are considered a rarer sub-species, SITA wrote.

Šavelová said that the zoo is also considering placing gorillas in the new pavilion.

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