The word “orangutan” comes from “Orang Hutan,” meaning “Person of the Forest.” They are unique among the great apes in that they do not live in social groups. Adults typically forage on their own, but mothers care for their offspring for years. Orangutans have complex cognitive and spatial skills, meaning that they have good memories and are outstanding problem-solvers. Orangutans are highly endangered as a result of habitat loss and black market trade for infants as pets. There are two species of orangutans: Sumatran (Pongo abelii) and Bornean (Pongo pygmaeus).
Southeastern Asia [VIEW MAP]
Orangutans are outside and usually may be seen year-round as long as temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On cooler days, or mornings, and during storms, they will be snuggled up indoors with their favorite blankets and beds they build from fresh straw every day.
The orangutan complex consists of three habitats that are separated by dry moats. The habitats are enhanced with enrichment such as ropes and climbing structures. The habitats are numbered 1, 2, and 3, with Habitat 1 being the one immediately adjacent to the former World of Reptiles building. Habitat 2 is seen from the viewing area located adjacent to otters. Habitat 3 is directly behind Habitat 2 and is the yard furthest from view. The total area of the three habitats is 1.5 acres. Approximately every three to four months, the primate care team will rotate the orangutans to different habitats to give them a chance to explore different habitats, just as they would explore new areas in the wild.