Adelaide Zoo

Orangutans swing into new habitat at Adelaide Zoo

Ropes, high climbing towers and tree top hang-outs; the new Orangutan Forest Canopy Trail at Adelaide Zoo has opened for public viewing thanks to a generous donor!

As a conservation charity, Zoos SA relies on visitation and generous donations and grants to build and update both its sites and the new Orangutan Forest Canopy Trail is no exception.

“The wonderful Orangutan Forest Canopy Trail was made possible by a very generous donation,” said Dr Phil Ainsley, Director, Adelaide Zoo. “While the donor wishes to remain anonymous what I can say is that we are truly grateful for their support.

“We can’t wait to see our visitors enjoying a new view of the orangutans. There is a viewing area that allows you to get a great look at the action happening on the climbing equipment and towers. You’ll also get to feel up close to Puspa and Kluet but importantly they still get to have the space they need,” finished Phil.

“The new Orangutan Forest Canopy Trail was built to better meet the welfare needs of Sumatran Orangutans Puspa and Kluet by giving them more options to explore and carry out natural behaviours,” said Jodie Sheridan, Adelaide Zoo’s Orangutan Welfare and Behaviour Project Keeper.

“With a 20 year age difference, Kluet and Puspa are much happier being neighbours rather than roommates, and this habitat allows them to use the area while giving each other space. While one is climbing towers and swinging through the ropes, the other can be on the ground using the climbing tree, frames and apparatus below. The layout means that although they are in the same habitat their paths will not cross.

“As their primary keeper, being able to make improvements like this to ensure animals’ welfare needs are being met is fantastic and it’s ultimately our strategy for all the species in our care,” finished Jodie.

The Sumatran Orangutan is classified as Critically Endangered in the wild with less than 14,000 thought to exist. The population of Sumatran Orangutans is wide spread across Sumatra due to deforestation.

“As a conservation charity we advocate for the use of Certifiied Sustainable Palm Oil, which is the most orangutan and other species-friendly use of land and of obtaining oil,” continued Jodie.

“We continue to spread the message that sustainable palm oil is a much better choice for species protection. Other oils use up far more land and continue to encroach on land that species desperately need.

“One way that we hope people will get on board is through the WAZA Palm Oil Scan app. Zoos SA is part of a global team behind this technology.

“There’s no better time to get on board and use the app. It shows shoppers whether the foods they are buying use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. This app puts the power in the palm of the shopper and gives them a chance to have their say and make a difference. We really hope manufacturers will take notice and change the oils that they use and the way they harvest them,” finished Jodie.

The Orangutan Forest Canopy Trail will open to the public from Monday 15 April offering an unrivalled view into the tree tops as the Sumatran Orangutans swing and sway through ropes and towers.

School holidays at Adelaide Zoo will be a fun and educational time for all. Explore the wild world of baby animals! Learn how different species embark on their first adventures and what it takes for them to grow big and strong. Activities run across both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

The WAZA Palm Oil Scan App can be downloaded here