Planet Earth

Photo safari - Orangutans Part 1

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongApr 24, 2010 4:00 PM

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One of the bright sides of being stranded at Perth by a giant ash cloud was a visit to Perth Zoo and, particualrly, visiting their orangutan exhibit. I've been to quite a number of zoos in my time and that had to rank with the best enclosures I have ever seen. The zoo is part of an international conservation programme and its six or so orangutans have a sizeable area to roam around, complete with tall towers, ropes, ladders and more. The next couple of posts will showcase some of the photos I took of these animals, and will help to fill some bloggy time as I wind my weary way back to the UK. We start with the baby, who was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. Just try and look at these photos without grinning.

After taking the shot below, I asked a keeper about whether the orangutans ever undid the fixtures in their enclosure. She grinned and told me about the story described in this news report. One of the females actually undid a rope and swung out into the visitors' area, showing remarkable restraint in just ambling along the wall and in not making a Tarzan noise. Because, clearly, that's what you or I would have done.

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