Sacramento Zoo Grieves for Orangutan
The Oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the U.S., Ginger, Dies
Sacramento Zoo is saddened by the death of Ginger, their female Sumatran orangutan. Ginger, born in Sumatra in 1955, died the morning of October 18, 2011. She came to the Sacramento Zoo in 1984 where she surpassed all expectations, becoming the oldest Sumatran orangutan in the U.S.at the age of 56.
Leslie Field, Supervisor of Mammals, noted, “Ginger has always been a strong personality…even with keepers, she could be strong-willed. As the matriarch of the orangutan group, Ginger was a spectacular ambassador for wildlife; she inspired and motivated Zoo visitors to take an active role in conservation.”
Ginger was being treated for age-related illnesses, including arthritis, for some time. More recently, Sacramento Zoo veterinary and animal care staff attempted to treat neurological issues which had affected both her eyesight and coordination. Ginger was not physically able to move inside from her habitat last night. Discussion today focused on Ginger’s quality of life and potential for improvement. After careful consideration between Zoo administrators, animal care and veterinary staff, the decision was made to euthanize her to avoid any suffering.
Sumatran orangutans are native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They are listed as endangered and are especially vulnerable to loss of habitat because they are only found on one small island. Current estimates indicate that there are only 20,000 to 30,000 orangutans left in the wild. Orangutans can live up to 30 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.
Sacramento Zoo -- Wildly Inspiring!
Open since 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is home to more than 450 native, rare and endangered animals and is one of more than 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Located near the corner of Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road in William Land Park, the Zoo is wholly managed by the non-profit Sacramento Zoological Society. This Sacramento treasure inspires conservation awareness through education and recreation. Open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, general admission is $10.50; children ages 2-11 are $6.50 and one and under are admitted free. Parking is free throughout the park or ride Regional Transit bus #6. For information, call 916-808-5888 or visit saczoo.org.
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