The Fort Wayne Zoo has three orangutans. The orangutan exhibit at the FWCZ is pretty innovative. It is modeled after the the rainforest, the orangutan’s natural habitat. The viewing window of the exhibit is placed vertically halfway on the front wall. Through it you can see lots of trees scattered around the exhibit. The floor is normally covered with water to discourage the orangutans from going down there. This is to encourage the natural behavior of orangutans spending the majority of their time in trees. The keepers place blankets and other materials in the exhibit so the orangutans can make nests to sleep on at night.
Credit: Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo: http://kidszoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Tengku-orangutan-May-2008-10.jpg
Tengku is the only male at the FWCZ. He is a Sumatran orangutan who was born at Zoo Atlanta on July 3, 1986. He came to FWCZ in April of 1995. His favorite enrichment item is anything dealing with food. When I was at the zoo, I saw Tengku carrying around a blanket in the tree tops. Tengku had one baby with another Sumatran orangutan named Sayang. Tengku was the lucky one that got to pick the name of the baby. Presented with two options, Tengku used a paint brush to pick the name Dumadi. Sayang unfortunately died though soon after labor and Dumadi was transferred to Zoo Atlanta to be reared by a foster mother.
Credit: Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo: http://kidszoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Melati-orangutan-May-2008.jpg
Melati is a hybrid orangutan. She was born on November 19, 1984 at the Yerkeys Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She moved to the FWCZ in April of 1995. Her favorite enrichment item is ice treats, especially on a hot day. 🙂 She is not on breeding recommendation because she is a hybrid. It is important for the conservation of a species to maintain genetic diversity by only breeding within a species.
Credit: Columbus Zoo: Katrina McCauley/Jane McEvoy: http://www.czs.org/czs/Animal-Care/Animal-Husbandry/Orangutan-Husbandry-Manual/Enrichment-Catalog/Browse
Tara is the newest orangutan at the FWCZ. She was brought here from the Columbus Zoo to be a mate for Tengku. She is a Sumatran orangutan and was born at the Rio Grande Zoo on April 1, 1995. Her favorite enrichment item is not the PVC feeder, but the end cap. She likes to eat food from it and play with it. She is outgoing and playful.
Selzer, Angie. Personal interview. 11 June 2013.
American Zoological Association. ” » Columbus Zoo Orangutan Conservation Education Center.” Orangutan Conservation Education Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2013. <http://engage.aza.org/orangutans/orangutans-at-accredited-zoos/colombus-zoo/>.
GMA Online: Associated Press. “Dad orangutan uses brush to name baby | News | GMA News Online.”GMANetwork.com – Online home of the Kapuso Network. N.p., 11 Nov. 2006. Web. 12 June 2013. <http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/20573/news/weirdandwacky/dad-orangutan-uses-brush-to-name-baby>.
Perkins, Lori. International Studbook of the Orangutan. Chicago: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2002. Print.