The Saint Louis Zoo has debuted its plans for the creation of “Primate Canopy Trails,” an $11.5 million, 35,000-square-foot outdoor expansion of the Primate House. Construction of Primate Canopy Trails will begin by late 2019 and it is scheduled to open to the public in 2021.
Primate Canopy Trails will consist of eight new outdoor homes for primates – lemurs, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys – adjacent to the Primate House.
“Most importantly, Primate Canopy Trails allows us to improve animal care, health and well-being by providing access to enriching outdoor habitats, sunlight and fresh air,” said Jeffrey P. Bonner Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “It also will allow visitors to experience primates like never before.”
New overhead mesh tunnels connected to the Primate House will lead to tall existing sycamore trees and other outdoor habitats. These “sky trails” will have a flexible design that allow animals to explore different habitats at different times, boosting the stimulation in their daily lives. Zoo visitors will also find different primate species in new places each time they visit, creating fresh experiences for animals and humans alike.
Primate Canopy Trails features climbing structures that allow visitors to explore much like monkeys and lemurs move about their forest homes. While exploring and playing, visitors learn about the importance of preserving the world’s forests.
Visitors also will be able to experience primates at treetop canopylevels, strolling by the outdoor habitat on an elevated boardwalk. At one point, visitors can travel through a primate habitat within a clear acrylic tunnel.
Built in 1925, the Primate House is home to approximately 40 primates representing 14 different species.
For more information about the new expansion, visit stlzoo.org/PrimateCanopyTrails.