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Orangutan twins hit the big 4-0!

Turning 40 is a milestone for humans…and for non-human animals too! Join Woodland Park Zoo at a birthday party for its twin orangutans turning the big 4-0. Towan (toe-WAHN) and Chinta (CHEEN-tuh), brother and sister, respectively, will open gift-wrapped presents with their favorite treats and indulge in special “orangutan” birthday cupcakes. All five of the zoo’s orangutans will join in the celebration.

Birthday festivities include: complimentary cupcakes for visitors (while supplies last), an opportunity to meet the keepers and hear about the day-to-day quality care provided for the great apes, a photo collage of the twins, an orangutan discovery box with fascinating facts and items, and a free raffle for a commemorative art piece hand painted by orangutan Towan. The birthday party is free with zoo admission.

Born at Woodland Park Zoo in February 1968, the twin orangutans gained instant national celebrity status as the first-known twin orangutans born in a zoo. Photos of the pair in diapers appeared around the globe, including “Life” magazine. While other twins have since been born, twin orangutan births are still a rare occurrence.

WHEN: Saturday, February 23, 2008, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Woodland Park Zoo’s Orangutan Forest in Trail of Vines. Cupcakes for visitors will be served at the Orangutan Research Station near the interior exhibit.

Orangutans, a highly endangered species, belong to the family Pongidae, which includes all three great apes: gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans. Distinct subspecies of orangutans live on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Their habitat consists of lower and middle canopy levels of mature lowland tropical rain forests and lower densities in mountainous areas. Overpopulation, logging, agriculture, and other human activities are rapidly destroying forest environments required by orangutans for survival. (Archival photo by Robert Kelley)