Time-lapse film of the reconstruction of the baboon and lemur enclosure
Current photo of our construction site camera (anonymous)
Flexible, spacious, modern - the new animal enclosures at DPZ
In the summer of 1980 the first hamadryas baboons colony of the DPZ has moved in. The 13 animals did not come from very far, they had been raised in Frankfurt Zoo. Now, 40 years later, their enclosure has been torn down and the group, which has now grown to around 50 animals, has moved into the so-called "octagon" a few metres away. The lemurs (seven cattas and eight varis), which live next door, also had to move out. They are temporarily housed in the Affenwald Straußberg, a zoo about 80 kilometres from Göttingen. Since the end of 2019, new construction is underway: A total of 12 units are being built, each consisting of an outer enclosure and a connected inner enclosure. Six of them will later be inhabited by lemurs and three each by rhesus macaques and baboons.
The new building will be considerably larger than the old one. In addition to heated interiors for the animals, it will also include changing rooms for animal keepers and scientists as well as a feeding kitchen, medical examination rooms, storage and technical facilities. Two to four animal keepers will work in the new building every day, plus scientists who will, for example, conduct behavioural observations or cognition tests with the animals.
Apart from spaciousness, flexibility was the most important requirement for the new building. After all, the enclosures are intended to accommodate different species of primates. The individual enclosures can be connected to each other and containers can be retrofitted as required, for example to store measuring equipment. There is a separat side entrance for the animal keepers, which leads directly to a changing room and an adjacent washroom, so that street clothes can be exchanged for work clothes. This hygiene measure is intended to prevent the introduction of pathogens into the animal husbandry. A path surrounds the new facility so that visitor groups will be able to view the animals outdoor facilities, presumably from spring 2021. In order to shorten the waiting time, we have installed a camera that provides up-to-date pictures of the construction site.