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New place for the “Octagon“

The home of two groups of Long-tailed and Rhesus Macaques at the DPZ has been relocated to a new place on the institute’s grounds. The monkeys will soon move in.
[Translate to English:] Rhesusaffe im Außengehege des Deutschen Primatenzentrums. Foto: Karin Tilch
Im Vordergurnd das Außengehege mit der Form eines Achtecks. Im Hintergrund das angrenzende Gebäude mit den Räumen für die Innenhaltung.
[Translate to English:] Das neu errichtete Außengehege "Achteck" mit Anbau im Hintergrund. Foto: Karin Tilch

Luckily, next to the Lemur Catta's enclosure a nice little hillock provided room for a building: Due to the extensive construction plans of the DPZ, the spacious "Octagon" enclosure, named after its distinctive shape, had to find a new place. The construction works for the shift are now completed. Before the start of the construction works last fall, the Octagon had been the housing facility for a group of Rhesus Macaques. These animals have moved to a new facility with the start of the construction work, so the Octagon was free to be relocated. It will now be the new home of a group of Long-tailed Macaques that had previously lived in a neighboring rectangular enclosure. Instead of constructing a new building, the DPZ decided to move the old one: "The enclosure is of high quality and we have had positive experiences with it", explained colony manager Uwe Schönmann, "so shifting the building seemed more practical than having to build a new one". Instead of extensively renovating the old housing facility, which belonged to the Octagon, the shifted outdoor enclosure will be combined with a larger and modern indoor enclosure. The relocation including the new building and removing some old structures cost about 1 million Euro. It became necessary as the location occupied by the Octagon since the 1980s is needed for a new parking area and the future multi-purpose building of the DPZ. This new building will provide space for a lecture hall, administration offices as well as for two junior research groups.

At the DPZ Rhesus monkeys live within breeding groups and as laboratory animals. The breeding groups are of Indian origin and are offspring of a group of monkeys from the Caribbean island Cayo Santiago.

Since Rhesus Macaques of Indian breed are highly sought-after for some experiments in infection research, namely in AIDS-research, the colony at the DPZ is of high scientific value. In addition behavioral scientists at the DPZ study the Long-tailed Macaques in experiments, aimed at a better understanding of the cognitive capacities of these monkeys.