Cake and carrots as Primrose turns 40
Wednesday 20 July 2005
Wednesday was a very special day at Whipsnade, it was Primrose the chimp’s fortieth birthday!
An important day in any girl’s calendar, the keepers were not going to let this one slip by unnoticed so there was a special birthday cake made with all her favourite things including bananas, grapes, nuts and seeds. There were even carrot candles, although it was difficult to fit all forty on the cake.
Primrose truly deserved all the fuss and attention. By successfully rearing four young chimps she has made a vital contribution to Whipsnade’s captive breeding programme and she plays an important role in the hierarchy of the group. As matriarch, she keeps a watchful eye on the frisky young males and often steps in to stop any minor spats and disagreements. As keeper Cathy Doherty says “She is so tender and loving with her grandson Elvis, she sits there patiently while he climbs all over her. She’s a real grand old dame.”
Whipsnade’s group of chimps consists of five males and two females. Primrose and the rest of the group can be seen in the chimpnasium close to the main gate. Large viewing windows not only allow for a fabulous perspective of the chimps’ play area, but also provide a real close encounter as the chimps forage in the bark and log piles adjacent to the viewing sections. This is a chance for any visitor to get a real insight into chimp behaviour.