A male Sumatran orangutan is relocating from New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo to Denver Zoo at the end of June in an effort to encourage his mating, an online news release from the zoo said.
The 24-year-old orangutan Berani has been at Audubon Zoo since 2001, spokesman Frank Donze said in an email.
He previously fathered a girl, Menari, with his mate Feliz in 2009. Both Feliz and Menari are staying at Audubon Zoo, Donze said.
Farewell banners were created by Zoo Camp children and the Audubon Zoo’s visitors can sign them.
A few facts about Sumatran orangutans from the Audubon Zoo’s website:
- They are mostly solitary in the wild
- They have 97 percent of the same DNA as humans
- In the wild, they eat fruits such as lychees, mangosteens and figs. They drink water from holes in trees.
- Sumatran orangutans have longer facial hair than Bornean orangutans
- They are the planet’s largest arboreal mammal (or in simpler terms, the world’s largest tree-dwelling mammal)
- Both species of orangutans are critically endangered. The North America population is 222 at 53 institutions, and it encompasses both species and any hybrids.
“Great apes are in danger of extinction all around the world, due to habitat loss from unsustainable agricultural and mining practices’’ Courtney Eparvier, Audubon Zoo’s curator of primates, said in the news release.
It’s hoped by the zoo that a change of a scenery will encourage Berani to breed.
Another male great ape, the silverback gorilla Casey, is leaving the Audubon Zoo as well. He will be sent to the Louisville Zoo on June 12.