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International Chimpanzee Complex opening at Indianapolis Zoo

One of the largest chimpanzee habitats in the country is opening at the Indianapolis Zoo. Learn about all the different ways you can observe and interact with the community of 21 chimps.

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The International Chimpanzee Complex was designed by Browning Day, a local architectural firm.

Photo by Indianapolis Zoo Public Relations

From the Indy 500 to basketball to chimpanzees, it’s a wild time in Indy and it just got wilder.

The new International Chimpanzee Complex is getting ready to open at the Indianapolis Zoo this Memorial Day weekend and even Caitlin Clark is interested in it.

Starting Saturday, May 25, zoo visitors can check out The Penny & Jock Fortune International Chimpanzee Complex, which is set to become one of the largest chimpanzee habitats in the country.

It’s home to a community of 21 chimpanzees that have come from all over the world. It spans across a majority of the zoo’s property + encompasses ~9,600 sqft with three living spaces connected by an overhead trail, allowing the chimpanzees to travel across the zoo.

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Billy and Ben the chimpanzees in the community hub outdoor space.

Photo by Cody Mattox via Indianapolis Zoo Public Relations

“The best thing for a chimpanzee is living with other chimpanzees,” said Indianapolis Zoo President and CEO Dr. Rob Shumaker. “We have built a one-of-a-kind habitat that is completely focused on fostering natural chimpanzee social behavior, allowing them the freedom to make choices throughout their day.”

Here are the other areas in which you can observe the chimps:

  • Community Hub: The outdoor space with a large vertical climbing tower and two sheltered areas located near the zoo’s front gate. It gives the chimps a view of downtown Indianapolis and White River State Park.
  • Cognition Center: An indoor space featuring touchscreen computer stations that the chimpanzees can use to solve problems, mimicking natural foraging behavior. Visitors will be able to observe just how intelligent the chimpanzees are.
  • Culture Center: This is the largest of the indoor spaces and it provides multiple opportunities to see chimpanzees gather in small groups. The curious chimpanzees often take the opportunity to interact with humans through the glass. City Editor Nicole found out the chimps are very social and like looking at phones after we take pictures of them.

By visiting the zoo’s International Chimpanzee Complex, visitors are joining the global effort to save wild chimpanzees. Fun fact: The zoo supports field conservation projects in the Congo and Ivory Coast.

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