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The Endangered Orangutans

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The orangutans species is well protected and cared for in the Melbourne Zoo's humane enclosure, the Orangutan Sanctuary

This is a man made environment that resembles the orangutans habitat, an area where they can swing on ropes through the trees and between especially made and positioned poles.

The elevated tree top walkway is housed within the Asian Rainforest Exhibit at the zoo.

Strolling along the overhead boardwalk you are able to view and enjoy the endangered orangutans behavior through observation windows.

Being tree dwelling creatures we are able to see this endangered species swinging and playing through the tree tops.

Melbourne is very conscious of housing animals in environments that the animal can enjoy. Melbourne has always been conscious of how the zoo animals are housed and the city zoo is a stateof tthe art example of just this.

You can observe these sorts of humane enclosures at the Werribee Open range Zoo and the Healesville Sanctuary - both just on the outskirts of Melbourne.


Orangutans enclosure at the Melbourne Zoo Australia compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeelab/2528370667/  The Orangutan Enclosure Melbourne Zoo
Orangutan playing in enclosure at the Australian Melbourne Zoo compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/3496419567/  Orangutan Playing In Enclosure Melbourne Zoo

Orangutan Facts

  • The Orangutans, the magnificent yet highly endangered species, are native to Indonesia and Malaysia
  • They belong to the species of Great Apes
  • They are highly intelligent creatures
  • The orangutans diet consists mainly of fruit and nuts, leaves, bark, honey and bird eggs
  • The male can grow to almost 6' tall(175cm) and the female to almost 4'(127cm)
  • The male's head differs from the female in as much as it is huge and round
  • The orangutans arms are twice as long as their legs making it easier to swing through the trees
  • The animals are tree dwellers and make their nests out of leaves and branches way up in the tree tops
  • The orangutans use tools to gather food
  • They are foragers and their diet is quite seasonal
Kiani, the orangutan at the Melbourne Zoo Australia compliments of http://www.flickr.com/photos/macinate/2408799167/  The Orangutan Kiani - Melbourne Zoo
  • They have been said to be the dispersing agent for quite a few plant species, dropping the seeds all over the forest floor
  • The orangutans Mothers stay with their babies for 6 or 7 years
  • This endangered species eats soil or bark to obtain minerals some of which help to keep them regular, absorb toxic chemicals or treat medical disorders such as diarrhea
  • Aggression between other endangered Orangutans is quite common
  • They are very territorial
  • As immature orangutan males they can be quite aggressive and forceful when it comes to mating. The females preferring the advances of the older and more mature male
  • They do not swim
  • They are able to vocalize different reactions to different stimuli such as playing, wrestling, tickling and fighting
  • Due to logging and deforestation the orangutans are now endangered and threatened with extinction.

The Endangered Orangutan

  • Orangutans are killed for food while others are killed because they may be destructive to people's property!
  • Mother orangutans are killed so that their babies can be sold as pets through the illegal pet trade market!
  • Due to logging, mining and deforestation the orangutans natural environment is being radically destroyed.


The Palm Oil Connection To The Endangered Orangutans

Vast areas of tropical rainforest have been converted to palm oil plantation. Palm oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, mechanics and is a source of biodiesel

Have a look at food labels and notice the term, vegetable oil, is it actually palm oil?

The Melbourne Zoo is well aware of the dramatic situation facing the endangered orangutans and we can all help by firstly understanding the problem and what can be done to help save these amazing creatures, visit...

Palm Oil Campaign

For more information, here are some more links...

the Australian Orangutan Project

The Orangutan Foundation



The Endangered Orangutans Bookstore

  • Visit the endangered orangutans at the Melbourne Zoo; open between the hours of 9:00am through to 5:00pm every day of the year.
  • Allow a good 3 hours to visit the exhibits and really experience what the zoo has to offer.
  • A great way to save money and budget in a lot more great Melbourne Attractions to visit, is to use the Melbourne and Beyond Smartvisit Card with free entry to over 40 different venues.

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