Maria, the Chimpanzee is Celebrating her 10th Birthday!
December 31st, 10 am to 4 pm
On December 31, 2010, Maria, the Sacramento Zoo’s Chimpanzee will reach her milestone double digit birthday. Zoo keepers will decorate the exhibit with papier-mâché presents, created by the Zoo teen volunteers. All the chimpanzees will enjoy special birthday party treats when the Zoo opens at 10 am. Maria’s favorite treats include Cheerios and special Jello tubes prepared by the keepers.
The Greater Sac chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers will be selling decorative handprints and footprints of Maria, which may be sponsored by guests, and then hung outside the Chimpanzee exhibit; proceeds will benefit chimpanzee conservation.
Maria was the most recent chimpanzee born at the Sacramento Zoo. She is very active and spends time with 9-year-old Dougie who joined the Zoo in 2008. They often play tag, with Maria running up to Dougie, tagging him, then taking off; these chases may last for quite some time. As for their respective spot in the hierarchy, these two are definitely not old enough to be dominant troop leaders yet; those spots go to Pablo and Amelia (Maria’s parents).
Chimpanzee Facts and Endangered Status
Chimpanzees are great apes that live in the fragmented tropical rain forests of Africa from Sudan and Tanzania in the East to Senegal and Angola in the West. Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest population, although chimpanzees have become extinct in some areas. They grow to reach heights of 3-5 feet, and adults can weigh up to 160 pounds. Their fur is predominantly black, but sometimes “gray” as they get older.
The chimpanzee is an endangered species; the current population is estimated between 80,000 and 120,000. The number one threat is the bush meat trade; 6,000 chimpanzees are killed annually for meat. Chimpanzees are also currently threatened by habitat destruction for logging and mining, as well as poaching for the pet trade.
Sacramento Zoo -- Wildly Inspiring!
Open since 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is home to over 450 native, rare and endangered animals and is one of over 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Located near the corner of Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road in William Land Park, the Zoo is wholly managed by the non-profit Sacramento Zoological Society. This Sacramento treasure inspires conservation awareness through education and recreation. Open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, general admission is $11.00; children ages 3-12 are $7.00 and two and under are admitted free. Parking is free throughout the park or ride Regional Transit bus #6. For information, call 916-808-5888 or visit saczoo.com.
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