St. Louis Zoo Orangutans
I got the chance to go visit the St. Louis Zoo a few weeks ago. The St. Louis Zoo is beautiful, big, and has great exhibits. My personal favorite was the penguin/puffin exhibit. It was indoors and the temperature was set at 45 degrees F to make you feel like you are in their habitat. The penguins and puffins swam up right next to you, where you could potentially touch them, but it is heavily discouraged.
The orangutan exhibit was hard to find, for me anyways, but I also get lost easily. Lol. But I did eventually find it and it was nice. Grass, plants, and branches covered their exhibit where they were lying and rolling around. The young orangutan was carrying a blanket to cover up in and played a little bit with the adults. There are three orangutans at the STZ, one male and two females.
Merah is the mother. She was born at the Wassanaar Zoo in Holland on May 13, 1969. She is 44 years old. The keepers describe her as “patient, calculating, and picky.” When building her nest, she finds just the right materials that will make the nest nice and cozy for her baby girl, Rubih. She has great patience with her daughter as she plays with her, and in enrichment. She utilizes sticks to get honey out of nests. Orangutans are one of the few animals to make tools. Other enrichment Merah enjoys is cloth. She will throw on a t-shirt or turn it into a cape. How inventive is that!
Rubih is the daughter of Merah. She was born on June 24, 2004 at the St. Louis Zoo. Rubih showed a keen interest in learning as soon as she could. She explores her surroundings very eagerly. To inspect something, she first puts it in her mouth to taste it, even dirt. Gross! She especially likes to chew on the branches and leaves in her exhibit. Rubih is a big momma’s girl and learns her behaviors from Merah. For example, Rubih learned to scratch her back on the wall by viewing her mother.
Robert B. is the newest orangutan at the St. Louis Zoo. He is 20 years old. He was brought there from Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure in June 2011 on breeding recommendation from the SSP. Juara, the previous male orangutan, died in August of 2010. Robert B. will replace him as Merah’s mate. Robert B. is an outgoing orangutan who loves to visit with the zoo guests. He’ll sit by the glass and watch the visitors. He enjoys viewing cameras and jewelry also.
- Frankel, T. (2010, August 10). Orangutan at St. Louis Zoo dies : News. St. Louis Sports, News, Jobs, Classifieds, Entertainment & Weather. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/orangutan-at-st-louis-zoo-dies/article_98062c06-a4bd-11df-aaeb-0017a4a78c22.html
- Hills Wildlife Adventure. (n.d.). Robbie Day. Rolling Hills Zoo. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.rollinghillswildlife.com/specialevents/robbie%20day.html
- Louis Zoo. (n.d.). Rubih :: Saint Louis Zoo. Home :: Saint Louis Zoo. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.stlzoo.org/visit/thingstoseeanddo/thewild/fragileforest/whoswhoinourorangutanfamil/rubih/
- Louis Zoo. (n.d.). Merah :: Saint Louis Zoo. Home :: Saint Louis Zoo. Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.stlzoo.org/visit/thingstoseeanddo/thewild/fragileforest/whoswhoinourorangutanfamil/merah/