Head on up to the Sumatran Orangutan exhibit and find out what Jungle School is all about and why it’s so critical to the survival of the orangutans that we release into the wild. (This talk may include a feed or enrichment activity.)
Head on up to the Sumatran Orangutan exhibit and find out what Jungle School is all about and why it’s so critical to the survival of the orangutans that we release into the wild.
Perth Zoo has a world-renowned orangutan breeding program and the ONLY zoo in the world to have released some back to protected pockets of the Sumatran jungle. But we don’t just drop them off with a sleeping bag and a packet of trail-mix! Hundreds of hours of training and preparation go into getting a zooborn orangutan ready for wild life. Once in Sumatra, they are tracked by wildlife biologists until we’re absolutely certain that they have what it takes to survive.
Hi everyone welcome to Perth Zoo my name is Martina I'm one of the orangutans keepers and I'm going to tell you a little bit about our Sumatran orangutan colony.
So here at Perth Zoo we have eight orangutans in total and probably the most recognizable is Dinar, he's our adult male and he's got the big long dreadlocks and the cheek pads. So he's the biggest fellow here in the colony and probably the easiest to spot when he's not lying around and just resting. You might also see our three juveniles. They'll often be playing just like kids because orangutans are so closely related to humans. We have one of the biggest breeding programs in the Australasian region for Sumatran orangutans.
So when you do come to Perth Zoo you'll be able to see quite a few of them all at once doing multiple things. So their favorite things to eat are fruit and vegetables. Most people assume they like bananas and fruit the most but a good part of their diet is actually green vegetables and root veggies as well. But their favorite treats are things like popcorn, sultanas and dried fruit and we use a lot of that stuff as part of our training methods.
So this is Utama. She often tends to look at people with a finger and the side of her eye just because she's a little bit confused and she's trying to suss out exactly what's going on with all the people looking at her. She's on her own in this exhibit because orangutans in the wild are solitary animals. They don't live in large social groups like chimpanzees and gorillas and she hasn't got any offspring. So she's in this exhibit but she can see everyone else around her the way that she would naturally in the wild.
Probably our cheekiest orangutan is Teliti. She's the one who gives her mother the hardest time. She's pretty much a teenager now so when you do watch her playing she's often annoying her mum or trying to keep away as far as she can to try and have her own space.