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Join the Birthday Bash for the Zoo’s Sumatran Orangutans

Categories: Animals, Visitor Services

The Sacramento Zoo’s three resident redheads all celebrate birthdays in January. We invite you out this Saturday for their small birthday bash. Put on your favorite tropical shirt and come out to the zoo for an island-themed party. The zookeepers will surprise Makan, Cheli, and Indah with party decorations and extra treats throughout the day on January 27. Guests can also sign their birthday banner with well-wishes for the trio. Be sure to visit a keeper chat to learn more about the three from their expert caretakers.

If you have not seen Indah, Cheli, and Makan on exhibit together since Indah’s recent arrival, this is the perfect day to do so. Read about Indah’s journey to the Sacramento Zoo.

Indah, 14-years-old
Birth Date: January 25, 2004

Makan, 15-years-old
Birth Date: January 13, 2003

Cheli, 46-years-old
Birth Date: January 22, 1972

Sumatran orangutans are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. These arboreal apes require tall and mature forests and therefore are especially vulnerable to loss of habitat from ever expanding palm oil plantations and deforestation. In addition, poaching for the illegal bush meat trade and taking for the illegal pet trade make their existence even more difficult. Current estimates indicate that there are only around 14,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. In addition to the wild populations, two entirely new Sumatran orangutan populations are gradually being established via the reintroduction of confiscated illegal pets; one in and around the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park (Jambi and Riau provinces) and one in and around the Jantho Pine Forest Nature Reserve, in the far north of Aceh. To date, more than 260 individuals have been reintroduced. The goal of these efforts is to eventually establish new, genetically-viable, fully-reproducing and self-sustaining wild populations as a safety net against catastrophe elsewhere in the species’ range.

The Sacramento Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Sumatran Orangutan Species Survival Plan® (SSP). An SSP is the responsible for the planned management of a specific species in human care. SSP’s cooperatively manage specific populations across multiple zoos and aquariums with the goal of sustaining a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied species well into the future.