Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
Distribution: Borneo and Sumatra.
Status: Endangered and listed on Appendix I of CITES.
Orangutan Forest took nearly 4 years to complete and was opened in April 2009. The project was Colchester Zoo's biggest development for the year and cost over £1.75 million to complete. This exhibit also feature a selection of Asian fish and reptiles including a species of fresh water turtle, the Asian giant pond turtle.
We currently have two male orangutans in the collection, however, Orangutans are part of an EEP (European Breeding Programme) and we do hope to breed in the future; when hopefully a breeding pair moves into the new enclosure.
Orangutans are extremely endangered in the wild. The main reason is that their rainforest home is being cut down to make way for palm oil plantations. This is a very high profit crop and it is thought that 10% of all supermarket products contain it. This is causing severe habitat loss, which is causing the dramatic depletion in Orangutan numbers.
In 2010, AFTW started its support of the Orangutan Foundation, based at the Lamandau River wildlife Reserve in Borneo.
To find out more about the project, visit the website: http://www.orangutan.org.uk/