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Capitve Orangutans Must Re-Learn How To Climb (Video)

Capitve Orangutans Must Re-Learn How To Climb (Video)

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.

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Image Credit: Flickr - exfordy

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1:54PM PDT on May 17, 2013


8:55PM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

Very sad, hope things have changed, thank you.

8:55PM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

Very sad, hope things have changed, thank you.

6:02AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

obviously, human can change the instincts of other animal species, even in primates ...

3:36PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Wonderful they have realized the problem and set up a rehab for them. It's hard to see them in zoos but wonder what their chances for survival would be in the decimated forests they used to live in.

4:53PM PDT on Sep 3, 2010

I saw this 1 week ago and it was great

7:04AM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

Protected or Abused?

5:10PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

So sad that thay had forgotten how to be orangutans...

11:25AM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

very sad situation for these lovely creatures.

11:11AM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

how sad.

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