Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday: The Man of the Forest

Who can resist orangutans? 
Image Source: World Wildlife Fund
Orangutans are only found on Sumatra and Borneo. Their name means 'man of the forest' in Malay, and a close look at their faces shows why. 

Next week at my docent training at the Virginia Zoo we will meet the Director, who will speak with us about the conservation, breeding, and collection policies at the zoo. I've been thinking of questions to ask him. 

(More on a more thoughtful day about the docent training and the zoo, but so far it's been great).

Both of the orangutans at our zoo, Schnitz and Pepper, are Sumatran/Bornean hybrids, which means they are ineligible for AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) captive breeding. Since Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, I'd like to know more about how the orangutans were acquired. The Virginia Zoo website says both are zoo-born, and,

"Schnitz, a male orangutan, and Pepper, a female, were actually playmates when very young, but spent some time apart at separate zoos before being reunited in 1995. They have been together since and came to the Virginia Zoo together in 2011."
Schnitz in his favorite corner at the Virginia Zoo. Copyright Terra Toby.

Schnitz and Pepper. Copyright Terra Toby.

Pepper gives a thumbs-up. No, actually putting something tasty daintily between her lips. Copyright Terra Toby.

 A surprising number of the animals in the collection were the result of confiscations from the illegal wildlife trade. That is the fourth largest criminal activity in the world, right after human trafficking, according to World Wildlife Fund.
Stop Wildlife Crime. It's Dead Serious.

If you want more supercute pics of orangutans and basic facts about them, click here

Joining today's Thoughtless Thursday blog hop hosted by Ruckus the Eskie and Owned By A Husky.


  1. Oh cool! I love this post and I love the orangutans look so orange. Hence the perfect name for them huh? Thanks for sharing on Thoughtless Thursday. Can't wait for what you come up with next week!

  2. That is great to see them and you must give us a run down on your training and what you do there. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. How cool is this! Wow, learning so much about wild animals. Very cool. Happy Thoughtless Thursday!

  4. What a cool place to work! We have Chimp Haven here. It is a chimpanzee "retirement" home. I'm sure you will learn some amazing things! Good luck : )

  5. I knew wildlife trafficking was a problem but I didn't realize just how big of problem it really was :(

  6. WOW! that's great. Wish you the best. Seen many WWF commercial in the weekend. Golden Woofs

  7. Thanks for sharing, it's so sad that these animals get trafficked, well any animal for that matter! :(

    Great photo's and great post!

    Purrs Basil


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