A newly renovated zoo in Holland recently called upon Olympic gymnast Epke Zonderland to re-teach captive orangutans how to swing from tree to tree.
Orangutans in their natural habitat spend all day climbing and swinging in the trees, and rarely ever touch the ground.
The primates housed in the Ouwehands Dierenpark Rhenen zoo are penned inside for long periods of time to avoid icy winter temperatures, and as a result they are slowly forgetting how to climb the trees in their outdoor enclosure.
The zoo recently changed to format of the organgutans cage to allow the orangutans to swing from tree to tree in an outdoor setting above the public, but when released into the new setting, zoo workers discovered that the primates had forgotten the skill of climbing.
Watch this video of Zonderland showing the orangutans his skills in the hope of re-teaching them how to swing. The gymnast enjoyed playing with the orangutans but said the apes are probably a little afraid of the new situation.
Image Credit: Flickr - exfordy
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