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Honoring World Orangutan Day

Posted by: Laura McComesky, Zookeeper

Today is World Orangutan Day and in honor of our fab five, we know you'll love seeing how we celebrated orangutan awareness—and how you can take a role in helping save endangered Sumatran and Bornean orangutans—during our Asian Wildlife Conservation Day earlier this month.

Tropical fruit generously provided to the orangutans by Uwajimaya. Photo by Laura McComesky/Woodland Park Zoo.

KIND Snacks was our official sponsor for the day and we thank and applaud them for their commitment to sourcing and using only certified sustainable palm oil. Family-owned Asian grocery Uwajimaya generously contributed a cornucopia of exotic tropical fruits for our orangutans.

Melati delights in the durian and other tropical fruits. Photos by Carolyn Sellar/Woodland Park Zoo.

Not everyone finds the treats as tempting as the orangutans. Photo by Laura McComesky/Woodland Park Zoo.

During our keeper talk, our orangutans enjoyed durian, jackfruit, dragon fruit, tamarind, mini bananas, lychees and sugarcane. It was certainly enjoyed by all, including letting our visitors smell some durian fruit which some guests described as smelling like dirty socks, while others thought it just had a tropical fruit odor.

Chinta tastes dragonfruit provided by Uwajimaya. Photo by Carolyn Sellar/Woodland Park Zoo.

Lots of visitors, young and old, took part in a palm pledge on one of the orangutan’s windows. As a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Woodland Park Zoo has made a commitment to support certified sustainable palm oil that is deforestation free.

Each handprint adds up to a pledge, and each pledge adds up to hope for wild orangutans. Photo by Laura McComesky/Woodland Park Zoo.

You can help orangutans each and every time you shop.  As a consumer, your wise consumer choices can make a difference for orangutans. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has developed a helpful sustainable palm oil shopping guide mobile app you can download to your device to make wise choices about palm oil during your next shopping trip.

Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife, Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project, works to protect orangutans and their habitats. Every time you visit the zoo, you help make this work possible. Photo: Tim Laman/GPOCP.

Woodland Park Zoo has been helping orangutans in the wild by supporting our conservation partner, Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project (GPOCP) in West Kalimantan, Indonesia for more than 10 years. We have contributed just over $100,000 in conservation funding to GPOCP, and have spent the past 20 years contributing to Dr. Cheryl Knott’s research on orangutan reproductive cycles.

On behalf of our fab five orangutans, Towan, Chinta, Melati, Heran and Belawan, please celebrate World Orangutan Day and join our quest to help orangutans!