The generosity of a primate at Taipei Zoo has unwittingly given cleaners a headache, forcing the zoo to delay an operation originally planned for early May.
The zoo has for months been planning a deep clean of its habitat for white-handed gibbons.
To get the job done, the zoo has tried to lure a family of four gibbons away from the outdoor exhibition area by placing food in the inner enclosure, allowing zookeepers to safely sanitize the outdoor area uninterrupted.
Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo via CNA
However, the plan has backfired because of the kindness of one of the three gibbon siblings that reside there, the zoo said in a lighthearted press release.
The father and the middle sibling, named Peter Pan, have had no qualms entering the indoor location containing their food, but the oldest and youngest siblings have kept their distance, it said.
Unwilling to leave his brothers behind, the most carefree of the gibbon siblings has gathered food left in the indoor enclosure and brought it to his brothers rather than waiting for them to go inside, thereby thwarting the facility’s hygiene-maintenance plans.
The kindness of the gibbon has given zookeepers a major headache, and the zoo, having run out of ideas, has appealed to members of the public to come up with new ways to get the apes into the indoor enclosure.
The exhibit is designed as a natural ecosystem that can naturally deal with waste, including through the addition of other animals and organisms such as tortoises and insects, the zoo said.
However, the buildup of debris such as fallen leaves, mud and excrement is too much for the small habitat to handle and it requires a thorough cleaning once every two years, with the most recent one scheduled for the beginning of May.
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