New Bornean orangutan to meet public soon

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens has a new star: A male Bornean orangutan named Vandu. The Bornean orangutan is an endangered primate. With its huge body and lovely appearance, it has always been the most popular animal in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

Fifteen-year-old Vandu came from a zoo in Hungary, arriving in Hong Kong last Friday (January 22). He is in good health and is adapting to his new environment. Vandu will be able to meet the public before the end of February after quarantine.

Vandu was transferred to Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens through a conservation breeding programme. He will enrich the animal exhibits here, foster public understanding of Bornean orangutans and raise public interest in visiting the park. Another important mission for Vandu is to pair up with the existing two female Bornean orangtuans for conservation breeding.

The lifespan of Bornean orangutans is normally up to 35 years. They are arboreal and diurnal. Apart from brief periods of mating and raising infants by females, Bornean orangutans are solitary for most of their lives.

They swing and move from branch to branch with their powerful hands and rarely leave the trees for the ground. They sleep at night in large nests built of broken branches and foliage. Fruit, leaves, bark and birds¡Šeggs are their favourite foods.

Eleven out of 17 species of mammals currently kept in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are primates and there are 60 primates, including the Bornean orangutan, buff-cheeked gibbon, emperor tamarin, golden lion tamarin, lion-tailed macaque, red-handed tamarin, ring-tailed lemur, siamang, white-faced saki, black and white ruffed lemur and pygmy marmoset. The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens will continue to conserve rare and endangered animal species. Through the arrangement of the International Studbook Keeper, endangered animal species will continue to be introduced from overseas zoos for conservation breeding and educational purposes.

Published on: 2010-01-27

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