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Sacramento Zoo's chimpanzees moved to larger zoos

Sacramento Zoo says good-bye to its chimps
Sacramento Zoo says good-bye to its chimps 00:22

SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Zoo will no longer house chimpanzees, it says. 

A statement from the zoon on Saturday said their four chimpanzees would be moved to other much larger zoos that provide the primates with socialization opportunities. Chimpanzees Dougie and Pablo have integrated with the troop at the Kansas City Zoo, while Amelia and Maria, a mother and daughter, have arrived safely at an accredited zoo that is 20 times larger than the Sacramento Zoo and has better terrain and conditions for the animals.

The move is in line with current Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards, in participation with the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan, which recommends a minimum of eight chimpanzees to a troop, the zoo says.

The zoo's Director of Animal care said that while it was a difficult choice, the moves were in the best interests of the chimpanzees.

"The Sacramento Zoo collaborated with colleagues throughout the AZA and specifically members of the Chimpanzee SSP to identify the best new homes for our individuals, and to work, plan for, and ensure a safe and successful transfer" states Matt McKim, Director of Animal Care, "Although it is difficult to see these beloved animals leave the Sacramento Zoo, their new homes and troops will provide excellent well-being for many years to come." 

The zoo has had chimpanzees for 75 years.

"Chimpanzees have been some of our most popular animals for generations at the Sac Zoo," stated Sacramento Zoo Director Jason Jacobs. "While we will certainly miss these charismatic apes, it is important for the community to understand the context in which these decisions are made.  Advances in the care of great apes in zoos clearly demonstrate that these animals thrive in social troops in larger habitats. I commend our incredible team of passionate caregivers for coordinating these transfers to new facilities."    

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