On cold winter mornings Taronga Zoo’s Orang-utans, Jantan and Willow are given a special enrichment treat of warming herbal tea.
Senior Primate Keeper, Melissa Shipway, said: “Giving tea to the Orang-utans is part of their enrichment schedule and is very popular in winter.”
“We give them herbal teas as opposed to caffeinated because it’s better for them. We offer them lots of different flavoured varieties – raspberry is a favourite.
“Drinking the tea is certainly a great way for them to warm up on cold winter mornings,” said Melissa.
Jantan and Willow are important ambassadors for their declining species, as loss of habitat has caused a major decline in Orang-utan population numbers.
The Orang-utan’s natural forests of Northern Sumatra and lowland Borneo are being cut down for palm oil plantations to fill the rapidly increasing international demand for the oil.
It’s believed there are less than 6,600 Orang-utans left in Sumatra and less than 54, 000 in Borneo.
Taronga is actively involved in the Don’t Palm us Off Campaign, which aims to promote sustainable palm oil farming and advocates for appropriate labelling on food products.
More information is available here.