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Orangutan "Reese" Moves to Audubon Zoo

Move is part of a Species Survival Plan recommendation.

May 18, 2018 - After nearly a decade at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Reese the orangutan just made a big move to The Big Easy.

Reese is the newest member of the Audubon Nature Institute Zoo's Sumatran orangutan family, which already includes two other females: Feliz, 29, and her offspring, Menari, 9. Plans call for Jambi, a male orangutan, to join the three females later this year. Jambi, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday in June, is scheduled to move to Audubon in the fall from Hannover Zoo in Germany.

"The Audubon Nature Institute is an excellent facility where Reese will receive the best of care," said Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo manager. "Visitors and staff will surely miss Reese here at the ABQ BioPark, but we're happy that she'll be part of an important plan to safeguard her species."

The move is part of a Species Survival Plan recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the ABQ BioPark's accrediting organization.

"It's an honor for Audubon Zoo to welcome Reese to New Orleans," said Courtney Eparvier, curator of primates at the Audubon Zoo. "With only a small number of these animals under human care, we hope she will fit in well with our females and - once she's of breeding age - help contribute to the Sumatran orangutan population. Reese will be a wonderful ambassador for orangutans, along with Feliz and Menari, to help inspire our guests to take action for wildlife."

Reese was born at the ABQ BioPark in October 2008 to parents Sarah and Tonka.  Her sibling Pixel, and the other adults in the troop, Tonka, Sarah, Rubi and Memala, remain at the ABQ BioPark.

Historically, orangutans likely roamed throughout Southeast and mainland Asia, but are currently only found on two islands in Indonesia. Sumatran orangutans inhabit the island of Sumatra and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.