Zoo Boise to welcome two female monkeys; volunteers hope to raise over $200,000 for new exhibit
Two new friends are on the way for the patas monkey who was left unharmed in a recent incident at Zoo Boise, in which one monkey was killed. The male monkey will be joined soon by two female patas monkeys from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, Zoo officials said.
The Friends of Zoo Boise has pledged to raise $209,000 for a specially-built Patas Monkey Exhibit, which will be home to the three monkeys. Friends of Zoo Boise is a volunteer organization founded in 1961 to support the zoo.
Since Nov. 17, the City has mourned the death of another patas monkey killed in an early-morning break-in at Zoo Boise. In what Zoo officials call “an unprecedented outpouring of support,” the Zoo has received hundreds of letters, poems and messages from animal lovers across the country.
“As Boise has done so many times in the past, we are going to turn a tragedy into a positive new beginning and prove that no single event can dampen our spirit or discourage us from believing in Boise as a truly wonderful place to live,” said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
Patas monkeys are ground-dwelling animals from the plains of Africa. At 2 ½ feet, they typically weigh 35 pounds.
The two females -– 15 and 22 months -– are expected to arrive within the next few weeks, depending on weather. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is providing the monkeys at no cost; the Friends of Zoo Boise will pay transportation expenses. After a 30-day quarantine, the females will be placed in an enclosure within sight of the male. After determining that they are compatible, all three monkeys will live together in the Primate House until the new exhibit is complete, officials said.
The new 1,500-square-foot Patas Monkey Exhibit will be located in the African Plains exhibit near the giraffe barn. The structure will have indoor and outdoor living space and three large viewing windows for the public.
“The new Patas House will provide us with an opportunity to educate children and adults in our community about these amazing animals,” said Lisa Owens, FOZB president. Donors can make contributions online at www.zooboise.org or by calling(208) 384-4125, ext.202. If fundraising goes as planned, the new exhibit will open in late summer of 2013.
As part of its conservation mission, Zoo Boise will contribute ten percent of project costs to the Wildlife Conservation Society for the preservation of patas monkey habitat in Yankari National Park in Africa, which is also home to elephants, lions and hundreds of other species.
Long-term capital improvement plans at Zoo Boise include demolition of the Primate House, which was built in 1967. “We are currently planning an exciting new series of exhibits. We will tear down some of the older exhibits and replace them with more modern zoo exhibits that are better for both the animals and our visitors” said Zoo Boise director Steve Burns.