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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Zoo's George Chimpanzee Celebrates His First Birthday
George the ChimpanzeeJuly 15, 2009 - George, Knoxville Zoo’s precocious baby chimpanzee, invites visitors to celebrate his first birthday on Saturday, July 18, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the zoo. Festivities get under way at 11:00 a.m. at the entrance to the Chimp Ridge exhibit at the zoo.

Visitors can enjoy birthday cake in George’s honor (while it lasts!) and gather in the Chimp Ridge courtyard to serenade George with a special group rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Guests can also watch George celebrate with a special birthday “cake” of his own, and zoo staff will be at the exhibit to talk about George’s first year and his extended family of chimpanzees that live with him at Chimp Ridge.

After the chimps have lunch, the party gets going again when George is given his birthday presents and the giant card zoo visitors have signed for him at 1:30 p.m. Even the gorillas will be getting in on the fun with special treats for the occasion in the Gorilla Courtyard at 11:30 a.m.

“George is definitely one of the most popular personalities here at the zoo,” says Lisa New, director of mammals and birds for Knoxville Zoo. “He’s very curious and he loves to play. Everyone seems to be taken with him immediately, and I can’t blame them. We’re all pretty smitten with him, too.”

Special Media Event Preview with George on Friday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. George chimpanzee will be given some early birthday treats to provide the media with a special photo opportunity prior to the event. Media interested in attending this event preview should meet at the zoo’s ranger station, located at the zoo’s main entrance, at 9:40 a.m. For more information, please call Alison Swank, Director of Marketing, 865.637.5331, ext. 376 or 865.640.0351.

Knoxville ZooKnoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, the zoo is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331 ext. 300 or visit www.knoxville-zoo.org

For Immediate Release
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