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Media Release

Published: 09/13/2011
Contact: Doug Hotle, Curator of Reptiles Phone: (505) 764-6265 Email:

Apes Benefit from After-Hours Social at the Zoo

“Grapes with the Apes” Fundraiser Scheduled for September 16
ALBUQUERQUE, NM— Apes keepers and special events staff are planning a wild night at the Zoo for the Grapes with the Apes fundraiser on Friday, September 16 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The proceeds from the evening benefit the campaign to build a “Gorilla Bachelor Pad.”

This swinging social features a live DJ, food by Taste of the Wild Catering, cash bar, keeper meet-and-greet, and discovery stations along the Ape Walk. Original artwork by gorillas, orangutans and other primates will be available for purchase. Tickets are $35. Advance purchase is required and ticket sales close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14. The Young Professionals of Albuquerque co-host the event.

“We’re excited to host an event that lets guests have a fun evening and help the zoo at the same time,” said Debbie Wiese, Mammal Supervisor. “The gorillas will really benefit from the planned addition, and the community support is making it possible.”

Zookeepers have already raised almost $5,000 of their $50,000 goal. The Gorilla Bachelor Pad adds 720 square feet to the existing building. With suspended hoses, tires, platforms and hammocks, the Zoo’s three adolescent males will be able to play and rest in the space. Visitors will be able to see inside through a special viewing window. Keepers will also be able to use the additional space to manage the changing social dynamics of the gorilla troop.

The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For more information, visit or call 311 locally or (505) 768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).

Caption: A western lowland gorilla relaxes at the Zoo. Photo courtesy of ABQ BioPark.
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