Snow monkeys, new primate habitat coming to Lincoln Park Zoo
All the monkeys aren't in the zoo, but a new state-of-the-art habitat at Lincoln Park Zoo will make room for more of them. Construction begins this summer on the Regenstein Macaque Forest, a home for Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys. Because the world's most northern-living non-human primates can tolerate both warm and cold weather, they're primates particularly primed for Chicago. (But can they deal with celery salt on their hot dogs?)
The monkey habitat is part of a 2.2-acre, $15 million capital improvement plan that targets the west central portion of the zoo and includes the Lionel Train Adventure—a new train station and kid-sized, electric-powered locomotive—as well as added guest amenities, including handicap-accessible restrooms and a larger dining plaza. The train experience, amenities, snow monkeys and primate habitat are scheduled to debut in late 2014.
It's the first time snow monkeys will live at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and their grassy outdoor habitat—situated across from the Kovler Sea Lion Pool—will feature clusters of white pine and other trees, both living and artificial, as well as feeders modeled after traditional Japanese stone lanterns to pique their natural curiosity and entice them into view. Visitors will be able to observe the red-faced, brown-furred macaques from two sheltered viewing ares: a meeting space featuring a wall of windows and a glass-walled research pavilion. Oh, and there's also a hot spring for the macaques, because these guys know how to RELAX.