Ever since Bella had her 4th birthday at Perth Zoo in October she’s been harassing me to go back so she can sit on the stone elephant outside the elephant show arena and see the giraffes. The second request is reasonable, I like giraffes myself but I just don’t get why a kid would rather hug stone than see an ACTUAL elephant.
So YAY to Perth Zoo for inviting us along to see their brand new Extraordinary Orangutan Boardwalk home to the 12 orangutan’s that live at the zoo. Seeing as how it was my Dad’s birthday I asked him along to share the day. Also in case I needed a back-up piggy-back person for Bella. I’m a terrific daughter.
The theme of the orangutan boardwalk is Jungle School, to reflect the work involved in preparing young orangutan’s for life in the wild. I didn’t know this but a number of the young orangutan’s at Perth Zoo may be released into the Sumatran jungle to help boost the wild population.
The boardwalk itself has been landscaped beautifully and constructed with sustainability in mind. The decking was created from recycled milk and other plastic containers mixed with sawdust from plantation-grown pine and also bamboo. From the entrance which is surrounded by lush greenery to the strategically placed replicas of the orangutans tower-top pods for kids to explore (or you can sit on) the entire ‘boardwalk’ is a welcome addition to the ever improving Perth Zoo.
The orangutan’s were up and about, the cute little baby as usual getting all the attention from the kids. Personally I like the big ones only because I’m getting on in age myself and like to think I can still attract a crowd. Since 1970, Perth Zoo has bred 29 orangutans. The youngest, a female Sumatran Orangutan named Lestari, was born on 9 January 2012.
As I was taking this photo all I could hear in the distance was Bella yelling excitedly, “LOOK GRAMPS HE’S DOING A BIG WEE!!!” over and over and over and over again. The great thing about this story was a) no-one knew she was my kid and b) he was actually doing number two’s and Bella didn’t seem to notice. Bonus.
The orangutan boardwalk also has interactive structures along the way so kids can compare themselves to the big orange creatures.
And there’s a big map showing where the orangutan’s are in relation to the rest of the zoo population. Bella kept wanting to crawl into the carrier cage next to the map but I didn’t think a photo of my kid in a cage would be the most appropriate accompaniment to this post.
Well done to the Perth Zoo on creating such a fantastic orangutan boardwalk. Some of the other exciting features include:
• Replicas of the tower-top pods inhabited by the Zoo’s 12 orangutans are built onto the Boardwalk for children to explore
• Binoculars for zooming in on the action
• Observation Stations with visitor-controlled CCTV to get even closer
• A bogged jeep that children can play on at the entrance to the exhibit
• Interactive devices for playing on or taking photographs on
On the way out my Dad made friends with some monkeys only because he was packing a half-eaten banana.
Orangutans are critically endangered in the wild, with habitat destruction being a major threat to their survival. Perth Zoo plays a key role in the regional conservation program for Sumatran Orangutans. It is recognised internationally for its successful breeding program and for its historic release into the wild of two zoo-born orangutans in 2006 and 2011.
If you get a chance to take the kids or go yourself you wont be disappointed. And don’t forget to ride the stone elephants!
In addition to their brand new, Orangutan Boardwalk the Perth Zoo are currently running a fun, factual hands-on animal program for 2-5 year olds called, “From A to Zoo”. To find out more visit their website here.
Thanks for reading!