Jantan and Willow move home
Thursday 2nd August 2012

Moving out is always a big step, but Jantan and Willow have been enthusiastic about the change of scenery in their newly renovated home!

The two Orang-utans returned at the start of July, and can be seen exploring the myriad of ropes, poles that encourage them to use their remarkable climbing and swinging skills.

Orang-utans are the only Great Apes that come from Asia, and we are very fortunate to have Jantan and Willow representing this critically endangered species in Taronga Zoo. In their natural habitat in the forests of Indonesia Orang-utans are mostly solitary creatures that only come together to breed, however Jantan and Willow are happy to share their exhibit, which is great news as this is the first time that the pair have been housed together.

Watch as Willow finds one of the coconut pieces that her keepers have placed around the exhibit. Coconut is a weekly treat that is sure to get the two Orang-utans out of their hiding spots and into the sun, however, it’s usually Willow that ventures out to get it... Jantan likes to wait and see if she’s willing to share! 

When visiting the enclosure, the playful pair might be difficult to spot on the colder days when they tend to stay inside, so you might see Jantan making nests whilst Willow stays under a hessian sack. On warmer days, Jantan enjoys sitting in the sun, while Willow jumps between the vertical ropes of the enclosure, which mimic vines of the rainforest. Although they’re keen to explore their rejuvenated surroundings the Orang-utans are still a little bit timid, however, our keepers have found creative ways to hide tasty snacks around the enclosure that get them out and about seeking these food treats.

The Orang-utans love to spend time together, and play games with their keepers, whether they’re seeking out hidden treats, figuring out puzzles, ripping up magazines, or playing tug-o-war! Although Jantan is the more dominant of the pair and steals coconuts from Willow, our keepers say that he’s really quite shy.

 Willow, the smaller of the two, will always be the first to venture out and scavenge for food! The Orang-utans are fed early on in the day, so it’s always best to visit them in the morning, whilst they’re having a snack up close to the viewing window!

Media Intern, Linda