2012-11-12 — /travelprnews.com/ — The spotlight’s on saving Asia’s red apes, November 11-17

WHO: Zoo Atlanta joins a global coalition of zoos and conservation organizations in celebrating Orangutan Caring Week, observed around the world beginning on November 11. On November 11 and 17, Zoo Atlanta animal care professionals will host special activities centered on the irreplaceable red apes of Asia and their plight in the wild.

WHAT: Highlights will include education stations; a keeper Q&A; orangutan feeding; and fun facts on orangutan diet, adaptations and enrichment. Special orangutan feedings will continue throughout the week.

Both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are endangered, but critically endangered Sumatran orangutans face the more immediate risk of extinction. Orangutan populations have declined drastically in their native Indonesia, where habitat conversion to palm oil plantations, over-harvesting of timber and human encroachment have resulted in the death and displacement of thousands of apes in recent years. Without focused conservation efforts, most notably in the form of a targeted push to end unsustainable palm oil production, Sumatran orangutans may be extinct within 10 years.

Zoo Atlanta houses the nation’s largest zoological collection of orangutans, with 13 individuals, and is home to both the Bornean and Sumatran species. Ranging in age from 42-year-old Biji to 2-year-old Remy, the normally solitary orangutans share their habitats in small social groups. One of these will soon expand to include a new baby: 16-year-old Blaze is expecting an infant in January 2013.

WHEN: Sunday, November 11 and Saturday, November 17, 2012 Activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; keeper Q&A at 11 a.m.; orangutan feeding at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE: Zoo Atlanta
Orangutan Habitat Two – Asian Forest
800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30315

CONTACT: Keisha N. Hines, Director of Public Relations and Communications
404.624.5980 – office
404.309.2238 – cell

Simone Griffin, Public Relations Coordinator

ABOUT: About Zoo Atlanta
An accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta inspires value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family fun. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,500 animals from around the world. A slate of new up-close-and-personal experiences opened in spring 2012: giraffe feeding, permitting guests to hand-feed Earth’s tallest living land mammals, and Wild Encounters, three new behind-the-scenes adventures with African elephants, giant pandas and Komodo dragon. Other highlights include the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas, the nation’s largest zoological collection of orangutans and a global center of excellence for the care and study of vanishing reptiles and amphibians. The Zoo is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, call 404.624.WILD or visit zooatlanta.org.