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Make a Difference at Orangutan Care Day on Nov. 9

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Visit the Zoo and take action to help save apes.

Make a Difference at Orangutan Care Day on Nov. 9

Sarah the Sumatran orangutan with baby Pixel. Photo courtesy of Roy Slezak.

Published November 4, 2013.

Celebrate primates at Orangutan Care Day on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visitors can make enrichment for the orangutans at the BioPark, download mobile apps for ape conservation and learn about orangutan-safe products. Hands-on discovery stations and biofacts at the Zoo demonstrate how everyone’s actions matter for the future of wild orangutans.

“Orangutan Care Day brings the palm oil crisis to light,” said Sarah Shrum, Zoo Education Specialist. “So many products, from cookies to makeup, are made from palm oil, but not all palm oil is sustainable. We’re losing a lot of forests and orangutan habitat.”

Only two species of orangutans, Bornean and Sumatran, remain in the world today. They are both on the brink of extinction. At the current rate of deforestation, they may lose their remaining habitat in 10-20 years. Millions of acres of rainforest are cut down each year to produce palm oil; however, alternative products made with sustainably-harvested palm oil are available.

“Guests can learn how to help apes by making smart shopping decisions,” said Shrum. “Even though orangutans live on the other side of the world, our actions at home can make a difference. We’re optimistic about the conservation of orangutans, and we want to share that hope with the rest of the community. Just this year, Pixel the Sumatran orangutan was born, and his older sister Reese is growing up to be a smart, independent role model. It’s a hopeful time for orangutans at the Zoo.”

Guests can learn about smart phone apps that make it easier to shop for groceries and personal care products made with sustainable palm oil. Zoo visitors will also be able to make enrichment for the Sumatran orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii), which will be given to them as special treats during Holiday Enrichment. Activities are included with admission.

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