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Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 23, 2022 11:02 am

Orangutan Habitat Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Sulango the orangutan explores the new indoor habitat at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have opened a new dayroom for their orangutan family allowing these animals to be seen by guests year round. The habitat will be known as the Ken Cooke and Jerry Borin Orangutan Indoor Habitat in honor of former Board of Directors’ President Ken Cooke and the President Emeritus Jerry Borin.

The new 1096ft building will allow guests to gain views of the orangutan family at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium made up of Sulango, Dumplin, and Khali

Located near to their outdoor habitat the new facility will provide a comfortable home for the orangutans during Winter while allowing guests to view them.

A range of features are located within the habitat including bedroom space, access to the outdoor habitat and space where keepers can care the orangutans. The crowing jewel of the complex is the indoor dayroom which has been designed to allow the orangutans to show off their modes of movement.

Inside the dayroom the roof reaches heights of 25ft (7.6m) with simulated bamboo (painted metal poles) with some flexibility which the orangutans can climb. A range of vines (recycled firehose) allow them to further show off their climbing. To further encourage climbing a number of pulleys are fitted in the habitat so keepers can place items at height in the habitat. Along the sides of the building are large windows to allow natural light in to the building.

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“We are incredibly excited to share this new habitat with the community. The construction and design of this space was truly a labor of love for the Zoo, and so many people from various departments have contributed to making it a successful space for our orangutans. Orangutans are highly intelligent, and they are extremely curious animals with excellent problem-solving abilities. This habitat provides us with many opportunities to engage the orangutans mentally while mimicking their natural behaviors,” said Audra Meinelt, curator of the Columbus Zoo’s Congo Expedition region and orangutans

This habitat was partly funded by RITERUG Flooring and President/CEO Michael Goldberg and his wife Anita. Michael is a former Board of Directors’ member and a long-time donor. During Michael’s active participation on the Zoo Board, he chaired the Giant Panda Committee.

“We are so honored to accept Michael and Anita’s inspiring gift and to associate their name and legacy with this exciting new habitat. Creating indoor habitats that are as state of the art as our exterior habitats is a top priority for us. Their commitment to animal care and conservation and their passion for orangutans runs deep,” said Tom Schmid President/CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The Goldbergs requested that the habitat honor former Board of Directors’ President Ken Cooke and the President Emeritus Jerry Borin for their transformational Zoo leadership

Additional funding was provided through the Cultural Facilities Grant Appropriation provided by the State of Ohio through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and Governor Mike DeWine. In addition to other financial support and contributions, the zoo thank Franklin County voters for supporting the Zoo levy.

Learn more about Orangutans here – Orangutan Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Columbus Zoo on their website – Columbus Zoo

Orangutan Habitat Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Khali the orangutan explores the new indoor habitat at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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