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Bring in the New Year Monkey-Style

Posted by: Kristin Quirk, Education

Today marks the beginning of Chinese or Lunar New Year and 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. What better place to celebrate than Woodland Park Zoo? We’ll be celebrating with holiday and primate-themed activities in Zoomazium and the Tropical Rain Forest exhibit now through Sunday, February 14.

Monkeys, like this golden lion tamarin, are at home in the trees and make walking on thin branches up high look easy. Photo: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Those born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be smart, energetic, happy, curious and enthusiastic. They are also known for having a great memory, being self-confident and good at puzzles. Curious about your Chinese zodiac sign or what an ang pow is? Pop into Zoomazium this week for Chinese New Year inspired crafts, activities and fun.

Now, all monkeys are primates but not all primates are monkeys. So, what is the difference between a monkey and an ape, and what exactly is a lemur? Join us for a daily primate tour of the Tropical Rain Forest through Sunday to find out. We’ll depart from Zoomazium at 1:30 p.m. each day and pick up additional tour members at the great kapok tree that marks the entrance to the Tropical Rain Forest near Jaguar Cove.

Primates observe the world around them, learning skills as they watch family members perform tasks. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Are you playful like a golden lion tamarin, vocal like a siamang, protective like a silverback gorilla or intelligent like an orangutan? With immersive exhibits that encourage leaping lemurs and swinging siamangs and creative enrichment that sparks orangutans’ clever brains, the primate care at Woodland Park Zoo brings out the natural instincts of these amazing primates.

Taking a quick rest before jumping back into action, the ring-tailed lemurs are very playful and a joy to watch. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Our primate care extends beyond zoo walls, too. Woodland Park Zoo works throughout the world with projects in the countries where these animals live in the wild. The zoo’s work with collaborators around the globe is making a more sustainable world for people, wildlife and the landscapes we share.

The western lowlands gorilla is endangered and the simple task of recycling your small electronics can help gorillas in the wild. Photo: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

From Africa to Malaysia, Woodland Park Zoo’s mission to inspire people to learn, care and act strives to connect people to these wild animals so together we can keep species like gorillas, orangutans and colobus monkeys thriving in the wild. Learn more about our Wildlife Survival Fund projects and Partners for Wildlife projects committed to primate conservation.

What we buy matters to orangutans living in Malaysia and Indonesia where 85% of palm oil is grown. Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

These regions have some of the most unique and rare wildlife that needs protection desperately. Always a favorite animal at the zoo, hours can be spent watching these marvelous primates. Learn how you can get involved and help primates in the wild.

Have a lucky and happy 2016 and remember to think monkey!

Primates are incredibly social, creating strong family bonds just like humans! Photo: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.