Leaving The Great Ape House | #curiousKC

Leaving The Great Ape House | #curiousKC


– I’m Randy Wisthoff, director
of the Kansas City Zoo, here at our orangutan complex,
answering the question, what happened to Kansas
City Zoo’s Great Ape House? (light instrumental music) Well, in September of 2015,
we actually knocked down, had to destroy the Great Ape House. It was here for many
years, it opened in 1966. There was some public
sentiment that it just wasn’t stimulating enough
for the great apes. Cages were small inside, much smaller than today’s standards. The outside yard had no shade, there was nothing for the animals to do. And in 1995, the chimp, big,
brand new chimp exhibit, and the gorilla exhibits opened up out in the new African section. Chimps moved out there, and the gorillas, we got some gorillas from other zoos, and they moved into the
gorilla habitat out in Africa. The orangutans stayed in the
Great Ape House until 2003, at which time the current
orangutan exhibit opened, so they moved down here,
and that was the last time there was an animal in that building. It was just an iconic, I think, landmark here in Kansas
City, especially at the zoo. But it kinda had that
futuristic look to it. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out to be a great animal habitat.

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