St Louis Zoo Name Sponsors for New Primate Exhibit

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: June 13, 2021 2:30 am

Primate Trails St Louis Zoo

An overview of the primate canopy trails habitat which will be open to the public soon

Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo

The St Louis Zoo have named the sponsors of their newest habitat, the Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails, which will open on July 12th 2021. The couple made a leadership gift towards the building of the habitat.

“We are deeply appreciative of the Rineys’ charitable support, which will greatly impact both the animals in our care and the experiences of our guests,” said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo.

“This is an amazing and unique exhibit that will help us connect people to animals like never before.”  

Primate Trails St Louis Zoo

A trio of black and white ruffed lemurs explore one of the overhead trails in the new primate canopy trails area

Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo

Primate canopy trails has been under construction since late 2019. This new area is an outdoor expansion for the primate house. At a cost of $13 million the area will provide eight new outdoor primate habitats. These will be used by lemurs, old world and new world monkeys.

This habitat will include climbing structures both for the guests and animals allowing them to explore the forest canopy alongside one another. This will help to connect guests with the challenges faced by primates in the wild.

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The new exhibit will improve the animal care, health and well-being of the primates which live at the zoo. The current primate house was built in 1925 and renovated in 1977. Until now it has had few outdoor habitats with some of the residents not having experienced the outdoors.

“Being outside is critical for primates’ well-being, and this new habitat is a demonstration of the Zoo’s commitment to providing quality animal care,” says Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Primates, Saint Louis Zoo.

Overhead mesh tunnels will connect the new habitats to the house. These tunnels also allow the primates to rotate through different habitats giving them an enriching experience. They will allow for 70 different habitat combinations.

Primate Trails St Louis Zoo

A black handed spider monkey is one of the species which will have access to the primate canopy trails habitat

Photo Credit: Robin Winkelman Saint Louis Zoo

Around 40 individuals representing 14 species will live in the new Primate House and have access to the Primate Canopy Trails habitat.

The species on exhibit are

Lemurs

  • Black and white ruffed lemur (critically endangered species)  
  • Coquerel’s sifaka (critically endangered species)
  • Mongoose lemur (critically endangered species)
  • Ring-tailed lemur (endangered species)

Monkeys

  • Allen’s swamp monkey
  • Black-handed spider monkey (endangered species)
  • Cotton-top tamarin (critically endangered species)
  • Francois langur (endangered species)
  • Geoffroy’s marmoset
  • Goeldi’s monkey
  • Golden lion tamarin (endangered species)
  • Guereza colobus monkey
  • Spectacled langur (endangered species)
  • White-faced saki monkey
Primate Trails St Louis Zoo

A climbing structure for children will feature as part of the primate canopy trails

Photo Credit: Ray Meibaum Saint Louis Zoo

The primate team at the Saint Louis Zoo participates in Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans for all of the primate species at the Zoo and is a leader in primate conservation work in the wild through the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute.

The new habitat was made possible through donations from a number of generous groups. These include meaningful leadership contributions from the Michael and Quirsis Riney Family Foundation, the Estate of Rudolph L. Wise, and the Dana Brown Charitable Trust.

Learn more about the Saint Louis Zoo on their website – Saint Louis Zoo

Primate Trails St Louis Zoo

Guereza colobus monkeys including this baby will be one of the species with access to the primate canopy trails habitat

Photo Credit: Ethan Riepl Saint Louis Zoo

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