For Release: December 17, 2004
John Gibbons (202) 673-4840
Sarah Taylor (202) 673-0208
Two New Orangutans on Exhibit at the National Zoo
Two orangutans are the newest residents at the National Zoo's Great Ape House. Kyle and Batang are Bornean orangutans and have come to the National Zoo as part of the American Zoo and Aquarium's Species Survival Plan's breeding program. This is the first time the Zoo has housed breeding orangutans in 13 years.
The 8-year-old male Kyle is on loan from Utah's Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City; 7-year-old female Batang is on loan from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Ill. They were recently released from quarantine and are now being introduced to the Zoo's three resident orangutans.
National Zoo animal-care staff are introducing the new arrivals to the Zoo's resident male and two female orangutans with gradual meetings through wire mesh doors; the housemates are also watching each other though common glass exhibit walls.
The Zoo's other orangutans are hybrids of the two recognized orangutan species, Bornean and Sumatran, and are not part of a breeding program.
The world's largest tree-dwelling animal, orangutans live in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The Sumatran species is listed as critically endangered and the Bornean species is listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union. Fewer than 30,000 orangutans are estimated to survive in the wild. Orangutans may live about 35 years in the wild.
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Note to Editors: Photos of Kyle and Batang are available from the Zoo's Office of Public Affairs.