Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rare orang-utan to be released into wild

A rare Sumatran orang-utan born at Perth Zoo will be released into a protected rainforest in Indonesia as part of an international program to save the species from extinction.

The six-year-old male named Semeru will become the first zoo-born male orang-utan in the world to be released into the wild.

It follows the success of Temara, a female Sumatran orang-utan also born in Perth Zoo and released into Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra in November 2006.

Semeru - chosen for release based on his temperament and age - will be flown to Indonesia on October 16 and spend two weeks in quarantine before he is released into the same park.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the orang-utans were bred and released into the wild as part of an international program to re-establish a population of the red long-haired, tree-living ape, which is native to Borneo and Sumatra.

Adding Semeru to the population would allow genetic diversification.

Mr Marmion said a team of veterinarians, keepers and zoo officials had spent the past year meticulously planning and preparing Semeru for his transfer and release.

"Semeru will be closely monitored and supported on a daily basis with two dedicated trackers for two years and longer if necessary while he adjusts to life in the forest," he said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Rare orang-utan to be released into wild

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