Zoo Orangutan to be Released into the Wild


Semeru, a zoo-born Sumatran orangutan, will be released into a national park in Indonesia to help save the species from extinction.

Semeru, a six-year-old male Sumatran orangutan who was born and raised in the Perth Zoo in Australia, will be released into Bukit Tigapulah National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild, and Semeru’s introduction into the park would increase the genetic diversity of the orangutan population there.

To ensure Semeru will be able to survive in the wild after living his whole life only in captivity, zoo keepers and veterinarians spent a year preparing him for the transition.

According to Environment Minister Bill Marmion, “Semeru will be closely monitored and supported on a daily basis with two dedicated trackers for two years and longer if necessary while he adjusts to life in the forest.

“Semeru’s pre-release preparation has included the introduction of Indonesian fruits, enrichment items to sharpen his foraging skills and access to a large fig tree to increase his fitness and hone his climbing and nest-making skills.

“Semeru has also been fitted with a radio transmitter implant which will help trackers monitor him in the dense terrain of Bukit Tigpauluh.”

Read more about Semeru at the Sydney Morning Herald website.

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