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Apenheul Primate Park

Address J.C. Wilslaan 21-31 PO Box 97 7300 AB Apeldoorn The Netherlands
How to Find it: How to find Apenheul in Apeldoorn 80 Km east of Amsterdam, well signposted Train: Take train to Amersfoort/Enschede. Leaves every 30 minutes. Duration of journey 1 hour 15 minutes. From Apeldoorn CS, take bus 2 or 6 (15 minutes). Car from Amsterdam: follow highway A1 Amersfoort/Enschede
Open: Opening hours 2001 Apenheul is open every day from April through October. In winter Apenheul is closed for visitors. April – October daily 09.30 to 17.00 hrs June, July and August daily 09.30 to 18.00 hrs
Prices: Admission 2001 Adults Dfl 25,00 = Euro 11,34 Children 3-9 years Dfl 19,50 = Euro 8,85 Senior citizens 65+ Dfl 21,50 = Euro 9,76
Area: 12 hectares
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
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This critique last updated:  Feb 2008

Official Description

Apenheul Primate Park opened in 1971 as a small primate park with a revolutionary concept: to allow the monkeys freedom of movement and allow them to mingle with the visitors. However, visitors were – and still are – strictly advised to leave the animals in peace. Petting is forbidden and (needless to say) so is feeding the animals. Some of the monkeys do interact with the visitors. But they have choice. They can totally ignore the visitors and roam and forage in the tree tops of their forest, or they can choose to come and investigate what the visitor is doing. The opportunity for contact is often among the most memorable experiences for visitors. The close encounter with exotic animals will easily lead to interest en respect for the animals.

Breeding successes

It soon became obvious that the primates appreciated Apenheul as much as the visitors did. In – or because of – their great freedom of movement, the animals formed perfect social groups and many offspring were born and reared naturally by their own mothers. Even with species which, until then, had been considered ‘difficult’ to keep, did Apenheul achieve spectacular successes.

Largest gorillatroop in the zooworld

That was a good reason for Apenheul to expand and acquire more species. In 1976 the first gorilla’s arrived on a spacious island (1,5 hectare) and three years later, in 1979, the first baby was born. In those early days it was still unique if a gorillamother nursed her own baby. At Apenheul natural mothercare was normal since the very beginning. Since 1979 no less than 35 gorillababy’s were born and raised in the Apenheul gorillatroop that nowadays counts 18 animals and is one of the largest and most natural social haremtroops in the zoo-world. Gorilla’s born in Apeldoorn are known to have exellent ‘gorilla-manners’ and now live in zoos all over Europe and beyond (The Netherlands, Germany, England, Switzerland, Israel and even Australia).

Orang-utans and bonobo’s

Since 1995 the park started a large development again. Since then a lot has changed and many new primate species have arrived. Among them is a group of bonobo’s (11 animals) where two babies were born already since their arrival in 1998. In the summer of 1999 a revolutionary exhibit for orang utans was opened. No less than 8 islands with hundreds of trees and over 10 km of ropes and nets surround the large indoor exhibit. This living-area provides the 7 inhabitants with endless possibilities to climb. The exhibit enables the keepers to constantly challenge the animals to use their great intelligence by regularly creating new routes to the islands where the best food is hidden.

Education and Conservation

Since 1986 Apenheul Primate Park is a foundation that invests its profits in nature-education and (in-situ) conservation. Through the years, Apenheul Primate Park has acquired an important position within the international zoo community. Apenheul is a member of the Dutch- (NVD, http://www.nvdzoos.nl), European- (EAZA, http://www.eaza.net) and Worldwide Federation of Zoos (WAZA, http://www.wzo.org) and plays an important role in the international breedingprogrammes for gorilla’s, bonobo’s, woolly monkeys and many other endangered primate species.

Visitor Reviews

Review posted by Caroline Berkhof

Apenheul Primate Park is a unique zoo with more than 35 species of monkeys apes and lemurs. Most of them are free roaming and you will suddenly find you in their midst. On a spacious wooded island you can see one of the largest gorillatroops of the zoo-world (18 animals, more than 30 babies were born here and mother-reared!).

In 1999 Apenheul opened a revolutionary exhibit for orang utans with no less than 8 islands full of climbing trees, ropes and nets

Species List

Species Scientific Name Social structure Living environment
Squirrel monkeys Saimiri sciureus boliviensis Group ± 110 animals Free roaming
Red Titi monkey Callicebus cupreus cupreus 1 pair Wooded island / moat
Pied bare faced tamarin Sagunius bicolor bicolor 2 families (8), 2 twins 2000 Wooded island / moat
Geoffroy marmosets Callithrix geoffroy 1 family (10) Wooded island / moat
Golden headed lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia chrysomelas 2 families (15) On island with howler monkeys
Black howler monkeys Alouatta caraya Group (3 animals), baby due Wooded island / moat
Bonobos Pan paniscus Group (9 ad+ 3 motherreared young) Indoor facility / glas and wooded island (½ ha) / moat
Red ruffed lemurs Varecia varigata rubra Bachelor group (4) Free roaming
Black & white ruffed lemurs Varecia variegata Bachelor group (4) Free roaming
Ringtailed lemurs Lemur catta Group (6) Free roaming
Red bellied lemurs Eulemur rubriventer Family (5) Free roaming
Blue eyed lemurs Eulemur macaco flavifrons Family (3) Free roaming
Orang Utans (Borneo) Pongo pymaeus pygmaeus 7 animals in 3 'groups. Baby feb. 2001 Indoor facility / glas. 8 islands, partly connected.
Javan langurs Trachypithecus auratus auratus Group (9) Wooded island / moat
Lion tailed macaques Macaca silenus Group (11) Wooded island / moat
Barbary macaques Macaca sylvanus Group (35) Free roaming and amongst the visitors
Gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla Group (18), 35th baby dec. 2000, all baby’s motherreared Indoor facility / glas and wooded island (1 ha) / moat
Patas monkeys Erythrocebus patas Group (4) wooded island (1 ha) / moat with gorilla's
Darkhanded gibbon Hylobates agilis 1 family (3 animals), baby nov. 2000 wooded island/moat. Baby nov. 2000
Golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia 1 family (5) Free roaming
White faced sakis Pithecia pithecia 2 family, (6) Free roaming
Goeldi’s monkeys Callimico goeldii 1 family (6) Free roaming
Pigmy marmosets Callithrix pygmaeus 1 family , twins jan 2001, baby feb. 2001 outdoor / glass
Cottontop tamarins Saguinus oedipus 1 family (3) outdoor / glass
White-throated capuchins Cebus capucinus Group (11), baby feb 2001 Island / dry moat
Spider monkeys Ateles fusciceps robustus + Ateles paniscus Group (8 animals) Wooded island / moat
Woolly monkeys Lagothrix lagotricha Group (9 animals) Wooded island / moat
Woolly monkeys Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii Group (6 animals) Wooded island / moat
Yellowbreasted capuchins Cebus apella xanthostenos Group (7 animals) Wooded island / moat
Common marmosets Callithrix jacchus 1 family (12 animals) Free roaming
Emperor tamarins Saguinus imperator subgrisescens 1 family (4 animals) Free roaming

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