Three of Auckland Zoo’s Bornean orangutans, Isim, Gangsa and Madju, have departed for zoos in the United States to help the international breeding programme for these precious primates.
The zoo’s primate team leader Amy Robbins says, “While we’re sad to see them go, this is a really positive move. Of course, our other three beautiful orangutans, Charlie, Melur and Wanita will remain a key part of the Auckland Zoo family.”
Robbins says that there is a chance Bornean orangutans could be extinct within five years. Worldwide there are about 55,000 Bornean orangutans left.
"Most people know that the single greatest threat to orangutans at the moment is palm oil, particularly now with what's happening in Indonesia, with all the fires that are burning in Borneo."
Isim, 21, and Gangsa, 25, have relocated to Los Angeles Zoo, and Madju, 10, to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. They were transported in purpose-built marine aluminium crates before spending the first six weeks in quarantine.