PICS: Chimpanzee takes a walk on the wild side of Pretoria

Cape Town - Moti the chimpanzee, new to South Africa from the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan, decided to go walkabout in the quiet street behind the Pretoria zoo on Saturday 9 January.  

Moti was in the presence of his handlers enjoying an outdoor area of the National Zoological Gardens, when he decided to escape into a small outside street outside of the zoo premises, the zoo has confirmed.

Thirteen-year-old Moti remained under watchful eye and peacefully wandered into a few residential gardens and lay under a few trees, the zoo said.

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It was only when a neighbor's dog barked at Moti that his peace was disturbed and he tried to run away. Moti's handlers then darted him and was able to take him back to the zoo safely. 

Craig Allenby from the National Zoological Gardens explained Moti was behaving so well that they thought they could lead him to his new permanent home inside the zoo.


Moti is new to the zoo, having only arrive in South Africa in October. Moti and another chimp, Absalom, have spent time in quarantine and other facilities during the phases of their rehoming since October 2015.

Moti and Absalom came to Pretoria from the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan and the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. They are now being introduced to areas where they will stay and are spending time exploring with their handlers.

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Like any traveller, immigrating to another country - Moti still has lots of exploring to do and get used to at his new home at the zoo.

As chimps are powerful animals, their surroundings have had to be reinforced to ensure the animals do not break away. 

The zoo says it is confident that Moti did not break the lock or the bars and it was a preliminary human error that he got out into the street. 

Allenby explained to Traveller24 that Moti was of no harm to society and the incident did not cause any alarm within the commuunity.

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When asked how the zoo animals are dealing with the extreme heatwaves in Pretoria, Allenby explained that while each animal has its own natural ways of managing heat - the animals are kept cool with plenty of fresh drinking water, access to their cooler night quarters in the day and plenty of shady areas under trees.

The various reptiles who are most at risk have air conditioning in their quarters. 

Moti and Absalom will be introduced to their permanent environments in the zoo in the next few weeks.

What you need to know about visiting the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

Where: 232 Boom Street, Pretoria, Gauteng

When: The zoo is open seven days a week from 08:30 to 17:30

Price: Adults - R95 Children - R60 

What to see and do: Visitors can visit the animals, go on the zoo cableway, make use of the designated braai fascilities and have kiddies birthdays parties on the premises. 

Share your travel experiences or photo's with us via email at info@traveller24.com. You can also join us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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