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A week of orang-utan caring at Auckland Zoo

Published: Tue 7 Nov 2006 03:05 PM
A week of orang-utan caring at Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo invites you to participate in Orang-utan Caring Week – a six-day celebration that will highlight the plight of this great ape with a special birthday party, and a little monkey business.
Orang-utan Caring Week runs worldwide between Sunday, 12 November and Friday, 17 November, and aims to focus attention on the issues facing orang-utans in the wild. Auckland Zoo is supporting the week through a number of events that aim to build awareness of these issues and raise money to support organisations working in the field.
Orang-utan numbers are diminishing rapidly due to loss of habitat, and predictions are they will become extinct in the wild in less than 10 years – even earlier in the case of the Bornean orang-utan. The key issues faced are illegal logging and the clearing of rainforest for palm oil plantations in Indonesia.
Last November, the zoo successfully bred male Bornean orang-utan, Madju. On Sunday, 12 November, between 10am and 2pm, the zoo will celebrate his first birthday and the start of Orang-utan Caring Week. There’ll be face painting, giveaways, live music, games to play, and a birthday book for guests to sign. Madju’s keepers will also be on hand to answer any questions, and talk about the issues facing orang-utans and how you can help make a difference.
At 1.15pm daily throughout the week, keepers will present the popular orang-utan encounter, and be on hand to answer questions. Zoo volunteers will also be out in force with their interactive orang-utan “touch table”, and there’ll be the chance to contribute towards saving orang-utans in the wild.
Auckland Zoo will be donating $7,500 to the Borneo Orang-utan Survival Foundation (BOS), which runs the largest facility in the world, caring for 500 rescued orang-utans forced out of their natural habitat. All funds raised throughout the week will also support this cause. In addition, the zoo provides ongoing financial support to orang-utans in Sumatra through the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), and has already donated more than $30,000 to this cause. Financial support of both these projects is ongoing.
Another great way to get involved is to attend the final event of Orang-utan Caring Week Monkey Business at the Zoo – a fundraising evening for BOS on Friday, 17 November (5.45pm – 8.30pm). Primate keepers will take vistors on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, they will visit the primates in the rainforest and the orang-utan enclosure before hand - feeding the lemurs. Visitors will have the chance to be a zookeeper and make some enrichment toys for the primates before enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles in front of the orang-utan enclosure with the keepers.
By offering a range of activities throughout the week, the zoo hopes to build awareness of the plight of the critically endangered orang-utan, and also raise money to support BOS. For more information on what you can do to support orang-utan conservation in the wild visit http://www.savetheorangutan.org.uk, http://www.orangutan.org.au or http://www.grasp.org.au
Event details
Madju’s Birthday. Sunday, 12 November 10am to 2pm. Normal zoo admission.
Orang-utan Caring Week runs Sunday, 12 November to Friday, 17 November with daily orang-utan encounter at 1.15pm. Normal zoo admission.
Monkey Business at the Zoo. Friday, 17 November (5.45pm to 8.30pm). Tickets are $45.00 per person (must be over eight years old to attend). Pre-booking required. Phone (09) 360 3805.
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