How Taronga Zoo will be different in a post-COVID world
Adorable baby chimp Safiri celebrated her birthday during lockdown, but growing up has not made her any less cute.
The one-year-old loves swinging on the railings, playing with other chimps and hitching a ride on her doting mum Shiba's back in Taronga Zoo's chimpanzee compound.
Visitors will have the chance to see their favourite animals again with the zoo opening its doors to the public on Monday after shutting down for nine weeks due to the pandemic.
Over the last 12 months, cheeky and playful Safiri has grown into a confident, independent toddler.
Life is full of adventure for the big-eared youngster, who is surrounded by four other infants including her older brother Sudi, 5.
She loves to play and is often carried around by the other infants. The scallywag has an infectious little giggle when tickled.
Shiba, a very experienced mother of five, keeps a watchful eye on the youngster, if she is not already on her mum's back.
Young chimps manage to get away with being mischievous because they are still learning. A small white tuft of fur above their bottom tells the other chimps that they are juveniles.
Taronga Zoo has 20 chimpanzees, including matriarch Spitter, who will celebrate her 60th birthday next month.
As the zoo reopens, visitor numbers will be lower than usual with guests asked to register online before attending the zoo.
Hygiene measures including extra sanitising stations and increased cleaning have also been put in place.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia chief executive officer Cameron Kerr said the changes would not take away from the experience.
"While a visit today might be a little different to what guests have always known, I have no doubt that with the animals and keepers ready and waiting, guests will be delighted by the amazing experiences we have to offer," Mr Kerr said.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said Taronga Zoo was a "place of joy" for the community.
"It's been an incredibly tough start to the year and this is a great way to lift our communities spirit," Mr Kean said.
Originally published as How Taronga Zoo will be different in a post-COVID world