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Orangutan weekend at Woodland Park Zoo

September 20th, 2011 · No Comments

Woodland Park Zoo will highlight its orangutans this weekend, with special keeper talks and enrichment activities for the apes from Borneo and Sumatra.

Activities take place on the boardwalk of the orangutan exhibit in Trail of Vines, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Keeper talks and animal enrichment takes place at 11:30 a.m. each day.

Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.

The zoo’s expert orangutan keepers will give an inside look at the zoo’s orangutans and orangutans in the wild. Posters on display will highlight: how specialized training helps facilitate quality care for the orangutans; the complex palm oil crisis and its impact on orangutans, tigers, and countless species of other plants and animals; the direct involvement of the zoo’s orangutan keepers in the field; and how the zoo’s orangutans have helped advance reproductive studies on wild orangutans. The orangutans will be treated to tropical fruit favorites during a keeper talk about the zoo’s enrichment program. Docents will be on hand with orangutan biofacts, and coloring pages will be available for kids.

Orangutans, a highly endangered species, belong to the family Pongidae, which includes all three great apes: gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans. Distinct subspecies of orangutans live on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Orangutans are losing ground to the unprecedented loss of habitat due to unsustainable palm oil plantations, illegal logging and mining, overpopulation and other human activities. According to the Orangutan Foundation, fewer than 54,000 individuals of the Bornean subspecies remain in the wild. The Sumatran subspecies is critically endangered with 6,600 individuals in the wild.

Orangutan activities are free with zoo admission.

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