There were celebrations as Dudley Zoo and Castle staff watched its four critically endangered Bornean orangutans exploring their brand new £500,000 outdoor enclosure for the very first time.
After a year-long build, the large grassed enclosure, adjacent to their indoor den area, was completed last week, with Jazz, Sprout, Djimat and Benji accessing the new space over the last few days.
DZC Curator Richard Brown, said: “It was a fantastic sight to see the orangutans coming into the new enclosure and immediately exploring the climbing apparatus, which showcases the natural behaviours of the arboreal ape species.
“This enclosure is life changing for the orangutans and was quite an emotional moment for staff to witness.”
The new enclosure, which includes a large timber frame, hammocks, shelters, webbing and ropes, has been part funded through public donations, after the zoo launched an appeal during its 80th anniversary with a fundraising Onesie Walk.
Richard added: “The pandemic has forced us to defer some of our development plans across the site, but we were always determined to bring our orangutan enclosure plans to fruition.
“We started work exactly a year ago using local builders and suppliers and we’re all incredibly proud to achieve this long-term goal, especially during these troubled times.”
Work will now turn to redeveloping and combining the orangutan’s original outdoor space and the attraction hopes to officially open the new enclosure with a celebratory day during the summer.
A video of the enclosure can be found here
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