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2D engline/lib for project with MANY actors

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I've always been very interested in AI (in general, not only AI in games), but so far i've never really finished any project on that topic.

So now I am working on a project that's about evolutionary AI. Basically it's a bunch of selfreplicating cells trying to run away from a bunch of predator cells. I'm working on a very dynamic way to represent / 'mutate' the AI of the cells, and it's my hope that they develop some kind of basic flocking behaviour after some generations (even if they dont, would still be fun to watch them).

So now I am looking for a 2D graphics / general purpose library that is able to handle a LOT of actors over a large scale "map" (including efficient collisionfinding). I also need an efficient way to find all objects within a certain radius of a 2D point. Personally i'd solve this with spatial seperation using a tree structure, but if I were to implement this myself it would probably end up being very inefficient.

Language at this point is secondary. Since i don't expect this to be very memory intensive i'd prefer using java, but I'm also fine with C++ Edited by Nelo001

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With Java, there aren't so many 2D Engine choices out there. I know of 2 off the top of my head: Slick and libgdx. I've heard good things about both and have dabbled a bit with Slick, but anectodal evidence suggests that libgdx is more efficient at pushing sprites. Edited by Aldacron

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