Banner for Whipsnade Chimps

Our chimps have a wonderful enclosure including an extensive indoor gymnasium so they can swing to their hearts' content.

Chimpanzee at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The chimpanzee enclosure consists of both indoor and outdoor areas for the chimps to roam freely between. The indoor gymnasium or ‘chimpnasium’ provides the group with a variety of opportunities for swinging, playing and even sleeping in the high level hammocks. The enclosure provides a stimulating habitat which is ideally suited to the chimps’ needs.

For visitors to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, 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 an amazing insight into chimpanzee behaviour.


Grant and Koko the chimpanzees play with Valentines Day enrichment at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's chimpanzee's get in the Valentines Day spirit.

Chimpanzee carrying away Christmas present at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Christmas arrived early for the cheeky chimpanzees at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

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Chimpanzee at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Species: Chimpanzee.

Scientific Name: Pan troglodytes.

Animal facts:

  • Chimpanzees are social animals and usually live in troops of between 25 and 80 individuals.
  • Chimpanzees reach sexual maturity at 8-10 years old and can mate at any time. Females usually mate when their previous offspring reach about 3 years old. The gestation period is 202-261 days.
  • In the wild chimpanzees live for 40-45 years.
  • They were the first animals, apart from humans, to be observed making and using tools.

Where they live: Africa, from Guinea to western Uganda and Tanzania.

Habitat: Forests and savannah country.

What they eat: Mainly fruit, but also leaves, buds, blossoms, bark, termites and occasionally other mammals.

Size: Males are approximately 1.7m high and females 1.3m. Both weigh 45-80kg.

Conservation Status

It’s very important that chimps are well looked after and have the correct diet to ensure they are happy and healthy.

The vets at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are involved in the training of the chimpanzees to facilitate veterinary treatment. The chimps have been trained to present their hands or shoulders through the bars for injection making treatment much easier and less traumatic for the chimps.

Elvis the Chimpanzee at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The chimps’ diet is varied and typically includes the following:

  • 1kg of apples
  • 1kg of carrots
  • 1kg of oranges
  • 1.5kg of cabbage
  • 2kg of bananas

Each chimp is also given 350g of pelleted food which is made up of protein, fat and fibre, and meat is offered every alternate day. Dates, sunflower seeds, sultanas and nuts are also scattered in the grass to encourage foraging behaviour. Vitamins and minerals are given in drinks, like a herbal tea!

Chimpanzee at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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