Le Royaume de Ganesha
... of the species native to the north of the large Indonesian island of Sumatra. The other species is native to Borneo and is less threatened than that of Sumatra, which is classified as critically endangered. It is estimated that there are only 7,300 individual orang-utans remaining in the wild and that 1,000 die every year, victims of poaching and the destruction of their forest habitat, which is mainly being replaced by vast oil palm plantations.
We have had a mating pair here since 2016: Sinta, a 22-year-old female, and Gempa, an 11-year-old male, who were selected by coordinators from EAZA (the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) to take part in a breeding programme (European Endangered Species Programme, or EEP) for the species. Sinta and Gempa live in a new enclosure covering more than 1,100 sqm (including a grassy island of 950 sqm) in the Artisan's House inside the Kingdom of Ganesha. This authentic wooden Thai-inspired building was redesigned and adapted by the Pairi Daiza teams to create a suitable habitat for its new red-haired guests.
In 2017, a second group of three Sumatran orang-utans joined our Garden of Worlds, arriving from Heidelberg Zoo (Germany): a small family, consisting of a father (Ujian, 22), mother (Sari, 13) and their cute baby (Berani, 1).
An extraordinary enclosure was designed for them, inside the Temple of Flowers in the Kingdom of Ganesha: here, you can see a reconstruction of a Hindu Jain temple, entirely in white sculpted marble from Rajasthan. A jewel whose rarity is worthy of its occupants!
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE AND WHAT DO THEY EAT?
Orang-utans are closely related to humans, sharing 97% of our DNA. You only have to look into their eyes to realise how close they are to us. These large red apes are enormously powerful. The large males, which can reach up to 1.40 metres in height and weigh 90 kg, are impressive to look at, with their long, muscular arms, cheek flanges and thick necks. Despite this, they are shy and gentle creatures. Of all the great anthropoid apes (including gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos), orang-utans spend the most time in trees, moving between the branches at a relaxed, slow pace. They find most of their food in the canopy: they are omnivores, but mainly eat fruit, leaves, grains and flowers, as well as insects and small animals, mammals and birds. They go down to the ground to drink when there is not enough water in the hollows of branches and epiphytes. Every night, they build nests out of leaves and branches in the tree tops. Only young orang-utans are vulnerable to tigers and pythons: the adults are only threatened by humans...
Like other great apes, orang-utans are remarkably intelligent, and know how to use “tools” to feed themselves, such as branches to catch insects hidden in cracks and stones to crack nuts.
In a recent experiment, orang-utans were presented with a narrow glass containing a peanut floating in water too low for them to grasp it with their fingers, and a container full of water next to it. Within a few minutes, the apes had worked out that by taking mouthfuls of water from the container and spitting it into the glass, the water level would rise and they could reach the peanut...
Unlike the other great anthropoid apes that live in social groups, orang-utans are solitary creatures. The male and female only stay together for the few days necessary for reproduction. The females look after their young for seven long years. The babies cling to their mothers' long red hair for two years, before cautiously venturing into their surroundings, under close surveillance. This long apprenticeship and the late sexual maturity of orang-utans (between seven and ten years) mean that their rate of reproduction is very low: each female, during 30 or 40 years living in the wild, and with gestation periods of eight months, will only give birth to three or four babies (rarely twins) in her lifetime.
The Orang-utans in image
This world's activitiesYour pass for the price of
2 tickets !
Pool of the Holy Elephants
Exploration of the Kingdom of Ganesha starts here and we will return to the central stairway later on. More info
Animals of Ganesha
White tailed Porcupine, Papuan Hornbill, Bali Starling, rice bird and macaques. More info
Music and dances from Bali, prayers, sacrifices, processions... This unique spectacle will play out on 6May right on front of visitors to PairiDaiza More info