Apenheul Primate Park, Apeldoorn


Historical narrative

Apenheul began in 1971 as a small but revolutionary zoo. The first and only zoo in the world(!) where monkeys can roam freely in the forest and are also free to walk around the visitors, which allows close envounters to happen. The zoo began with the woolly monkeys, the spider monkeys and a few other small species. In a short period of time it was proven that not only the visitors, but also the monkeys were satisfied with this concept. The freedom allowed the animals to interact more naturally compared to other captive environments. It delivered ideal social groups and perfect reproduction. The breeding successes were the main reason for Apenheul to expand and to gradually acquire other primate species. The gorilla, the biggest of all apes, came in 1976. These fine animals were, by the way, not allowed to get in to close phys ical contact with the visitors, of course. Three years later, in 1979, the first gorilla babies were born, followed by many more. Every baby was raised in the gorilla group by the mother and this was very unique in those days! All those successes brought not only more visitors to Apenheul, but also primatologists (primate scientists) from all around the world who came to see “the completed masterpiece”.

(Source: website Apenheul)

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map


"Tiger map" (CC BY 2.5) by Sanderson et al., 2006.


about zoos and their mission regarding breeding endangered species, nature conservation, biodiversity and education, while at the same time relates to the evolution of species.