Rising 2.1metres into the air Perth Zoo’s new orang-utan boardwalk is now open. The new boardwalk aims to get people closer to the 12 orang-utans who are currently living at the Perth Zoo. It wraps for 125 metres around the habitats for the orang-utan colony. Costing $3.6 million the project also involved the planting of 2000 trees, establishing a misting system and engaging guests with the sounds and smells of the rainforest.
Themed as a jungle school the upgrade aims to educate visitors on the zoos breed and release program for orang-utans. Since 1970 Perth Zoo have bred 29 orang-utans. In 2006 and in 2011 they released an orang-utan to the wild. To be released orang-utans need to meet 5 criteria.
These are- Stay in the Trees
Find Food & Water
Know Your Neighborhood
Make a Nest
These elements are explored on the new boardwalk.
The aim was to create a sustainable area for people to experience these animals. Many recycled materials were used including the old viewing areas which this boardwalk replaced.
Getting people off the ground has also got the orang-utans up into the trees. By removing the distractions they are now showing off their gymnastics high in the trees. This is providing significant welfare benefits to the animals.
The boardwalk was officially opened on April 13 2014.