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Matchmaking Zoo Style: Part Four

Categories: Animals

This is the fourth of a five-part blog series following Indah as she moves from the Houston Zoo to the Sacramento Zoo. Read the previous update.

Sumatran orangutan
Indah enjoying a snack

After all the planning, paperwork, permits, and other preparations, it was finally time for Indah to travel to her new home at the Sacramento Zoo on September 20. Janine, Lead Primate Keeper at the Sacramento Zoo made her second trip to the Houston Zoo (earlier in the summer she went out and met Indah and her Houston care team) so that she could fly with Indah to Sacramento.

One of Indah’s zookeepers at the Houston Zoo, Tammy, had been desensitizing and training Indah to voluntarily go into the transportation crate in which she would safely be making the flight from Texas to California. Due to the flight being so early in the morning, Tammy had gone the extra step of arriving at the Houston Zoo early in the mornings to practice training with Indah. Thanks to all of that hard work, Indah walked right into her crate the morning of the flight.

Before heading to the airport to get on their FedEx flight with Indah, Tammy and Janine carefully doublechecked Indah’s luggage. Her bags included some of her snacks for the trip (water, browse biscuits, pears, and apple slices), as well as a new swing that replicates one of her favorite enrichment toys at the Houston Zoo (a parting gift from her zookeepers in Houston). During specialized animal shipments such as this, 2 staff members get to travel (“jump seat”) in the cargo plane with the animal, ensuring its health and well-being at all times during the shipment.

Sumatran orangutan
Indah as a youngster at the Houston Zoo

After an uneventful two flights, Indah (and Janine and Tammy!) landed safely and was settled in at the zoo later that evening. Staff members at the Houston Zoo were immediately notified of Indah’s safe arrival. Tammy stayed in Sacramento for two days to work with Indah in quarantine and ensure a more comfortable transition for her.

Currently, Indah is completing her 30-day quarantine in the Murray E. Fowler Veterinary Hospital where she is acclimating to new staff and being monitored for any illnesses or issues. Guests may begin seeing her on exhibit in early November.