Regenstein Macaque Forest is a premier habitat for Lincoln Park Zoo’s thriving troop of snow monkeys. As the most northern-living non-human primates on Earth, wild snow monkeys endure harsh winters in their native Japan and live in troops ranging from ten to more than 100 members. Snow monkeys are well-equipped for Chicago’s climate and Regenstein Macaque Forest has special features, including a hot spring, running stream and various microclimates, to provide the monkeys with various temperature choices. Researchers at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes continue to learn more about these complex primates in order to promote their welfare and understand their cognitive abilities, by utilizing the touchscreen research, in which snow monkeys voluntarily engage in cognition and problem solving studies.
OPENED: April 2, 2015
COST: $11 million as a part of a $15.5 million renovation of West Gate and the construction of Lionel Train Adventure.
SIZE: 11,114 square feet
LOCATION: Northwest side of the zoo near Eadie Levy’s Landmark Café
- Remote-controlled feeding stations resembling Japanese lanterns that can be programmed to release food at random to promote natural foraging behaviors.
- A running stream in warmer months.
- Heated pool and hot rocks to warm snow monkeys in the winter months.
- Complex rock features, fallen trees and naturalistic topography to ensure variety and promote animal choice.
- Research booths where snow monkeys voluntarily take part in cognitive problem solving on touch-screen computers, as a part of a study headed by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.
- A behind-the-scenes area where researchers can conduct cognitive touchscreen research with the snow monkeys.
Viewing Area Features
- Two sheltered viewing areas with floor to ceiling glass, enabling guests to be inches away from these dynamic primates.
- A split view of the research booth—macaque-side and researcher-side—where guests can watch positive cognitive touchscreen training take place daily, narrated by a learning interpreter.
- Rockwork similar to the landscaping in the exhibit.