Species Success Stories
Saving the Red Ape
The largest arboreal animal, orangutans are solitary but in fact have more complex social mechanisms than group-oriented apes. In the wild, hunting and habitat destruction has limited them to two Indonesian islands. The Sumatran subspecies is critically endangered and projected to be extinct by 2023. Visitors are drawn to these clever and diplomatic apes, fascinated by their similarity to our species and stunned by the fragility of their future. The Toronto Zoo is working on many levels to support global efforts to save this species. A new facility at the Toronto Zoo will help us ensure this magnificent animal is not lost to the planet forever!
Working Hard for Global Species Survival
The Toronto Zoo's orangutan group contains some of the most genetically valuable animals in the world's Species Survival Plan. A larger indoor and outdoor exhibit for our group will help us contribute more to the numbers and genetic diversity of the captive population. A better visitor experience will help spread awareness about the survival challenge this species faces, so like us and yet so vulnerable to habitat loss.
Currently, the North American captive population consists of 82 Sumatran orangutans, (70 are currently part of the Species Survival Plan), with a target population of 100 animals. Building a larger exhibit for our group and improving physical and mental health through access to outdoor spaces should result in a higher fertility rate for our females, as mental and physical health play an important role in reproduction. By increasing the number of Sumatran orangutans born at the Zoo, we can help to advance the Species Survival Plan captive population goal for this critically endangered species. Fifteen orangutans have been born at our Zoo with Jinnga, Kembali and Budi the most recent births in 2006.
This project is an investment in the care and well-being of our animal ambassadors and the species survival efforts at the Toronto Zoo. Supporting or partnering with the Zoo demonstrates your commitment to the survival of species at risk.
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