Albuquerque BioPark to host dinner with apes

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It takes a lot to feed apes, and they’re on a pretty strict diet.

“Apes are really, really healthy eaters. They eat a lot of foliage, leaves off of trees makes up the majority of their diet, but they also eat a lot of fruit,” said Jamie Ohrt, Primate Keeper.

In just a couple of weeks, people will get a firsthand look at what Albuquerque’s zoo feeds the apes at their “Eat like an Ape” event.

“Everybody will be seated at the chimps, and they’ll have a dinner that will consist of several courses,” said Amy McGee, Dir. of Cater & Operations.

Eat Like An Ape menu:


Tenderloin Beef Bruschetta and a Hummus Station

First Course:

BLT Bibb lettuce wraps with jalapeno bacon, sourdough croutons and pesto mayo

Main Course:

  • Grilled marinated duck breast with blueberry sauce and crispy leeks
  • Roasted medley of root vegetables with fresh sage and brown butter
  • Patty pan squash


Stuffed Sopapilla with Sweet Rice, topped with a Red Chile Chocolate, Crème Fraiche Strawberry and Pinion

People can make reservations for a special table with an up close view of the chimps. The chimps will stick to their diet, but there will be a special menu for the humans to chow down on.

“We’re going to have a variety of lettuce wraps and marinated duck breast, variety of vegetables. After that, they’ll have a stuffed sopapilla with red chili chocolate pinon sauces,” said McGee.

People can sample some of the ape food too, like root vegetables and squash. Good eats aren’t the only thing on the menu.

“We’re going to start by taking them to the gorilla play room, which is one of the newest areas added on to the gorilla habitat. They’ll get to go inside and see what an indoor enclosure looks like,” said Ohrt.

“We think it’s very important for the public to see the interaction that our zoo takes with animals and include them in it,” said McGee.

The BioPark says people can learn a lot of from apes.

“Yeah I think if people ate more like gorillas, we’d have a much healthier population,” said Ohrt.

Eat like an Ape will be on April 23rd. Tickets are $50 per person.

As part of “Ape-ril,” the zoo will be hosting special events on Saturday, focusing on chimpanzees. On the 30th, the zoo will celebrate the orangutans. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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