Project Oliver

July 15, 2010

Project Oliver – the web series, hopes to inspire the funding, design and building of a new green space that will be built in Oliver the chimpanzee’s memory. That dome-shaped habitat will have a grass bottom with various climbing structures and enrichment elements. Tunnels from other habitats would enable different chimpanzee groups to take turns enjoying this new environment. Many of them will be able to walk on the grass for the first time in years.

The series features animal stories, expert interviews and the sanctuary’s efforts building this new living area. Additionally, we are assisting Friends of Animals and Primarily Primates with fundraising for this amazing project. Most of the chimpanzees that will benefit from “Oliver’s Playscape”, came from laboratories and the entertainment industry where they once lived in cages no larger than four feet wide by seven feet tall.

The cost for this new green space will cost $100,000 or more. Size, materials, enrichment features, use and location are all factors that will be taken into consideration and affect the overall budget of the project. To date, through grants, individual contributions and funding from Friends of Animals and Project Oliver, we have raised nearly $85,000.00 and hope to start construction by June-July 2013. To complete this project and provide an enriching play space for 3-5 chimpanzee groups, we will need to raise $30,000-$40,000 (or more). The scope of this project is only limited by funding and we can see that “Oliver’s Playscape” will soon become a reality. If you or your company would like to be a part of building new green spaces for chimpanzees at Primarily Primates, you can do so through the sanctuary’s website,

To learn about other ways you can help, please visit our support page.

In 1997, these four grass-bottomed chimpanzee habitats were built on the sanctuary pond and are currently home to several chimpanzee groups.
Oliver’s new habitat may be similar in size and design.


This is the inside of one of two chimpanzee habitats that were built in an area of the sanctuary called “The Outback.”
The climbing structures provide shade and offer the chimpanzees more area to explore.


This is an example of what the Primadome will look like under construction.

This is an example of a “Sky Tunnel” that will allow different chimpanzee groups access to the new playscape.