Monkeying around – birthday bonanza at Adelaide Zoo!

Apey Birthday Niran, Cheche and Benito!

It was a primate party at Adelaide Zoo this week with two species celebrating big birthdays.

Siamang, Niran, turned 33 years old today and was treated to colourful presents filled with fruit including grapes and pear with his son 20-year-old, Jars.

Jars was the expert present opener with Niran happy to munch on the tasty treats that filled the enrichment boxes in the treetops.

The pair had fun swinging around and making their famous whooping calls in a rhythmic birthday chorus.

Earlier in the week, Bolivan Squirrel Monkeys, Cheche and Benito, celebrated their 10th and 11th birthdays with puzzle balls filled with tasty mealworms.

Senior primate keeper, Pij Olijnyk, said keepers love to mark special occasions for the animals while also giving them some fun enrichment that stimulates their senses and natural instincts.

“Enrichment is so important for our primates as it allows them to use their natural behaviours and gives them lots of mental stimulation each day,” he said.

“We offer them a wide range of varied and engaging enrichment such as training programs and food puzzles. It is also great for our visitors to watch, learn and see how they behave in the wild.”

Niran and Jars live on their leafy Southeast Asian island habitat next to the White-cheeked Gibbons and their favourite treats are grapes and environmental enrichment, such as fig leaves covered in seeds.

Well known for their throaty whooping noises, Siamangs are native to the forests of Malaysia, Thailand and Sumatra. Their loud calls help them mark their territories and strengthen bonds between their family groups.

Cheche and Benito live with Tito in the bachelor group of Bolivan Squirrel Monkeys near Aonika the Giant Aldabra Tortoise.

Proportionally, their species has the largest brain of all primates with a brain to body mass ratio of 1:17. They love to eat creepy crawlies such as insects along with delicious fruit and seeds.

In the wild, numbers of both Siamang and Bolivian Squirrel Monkey are decreasing, with the Siamang now endangered.

Like many rainforest animals, they are threatened by habitat loss, poaching and hunting for the illegal pet trade.

Each visit to Adelaide Zoo helps us continue our vital conservation work to help protect species like the Siamang and Bolivian Squirrel Monkey in the wild.

For more information about the primates at Adelaide Zoo and our conservation work, please visit

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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