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The South East Asian experience at Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo’s first leg of its South East Asia Jungle Track is now open with a new high canopy habitat for orangutans and siamangs. 

Surrounded by a 25m high aerial pathway inspired by trees in the rainforest, it allows visitors to experience seeing these animals hanging about as they do in the wild.

“The immersive new habitat provides an exciting and continually engaging environment for the orangutans and siamang and allows our primate staff to give them the very best care and animal welfare outcomes,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley.

The very high canopy habitat is a mixture of large trees and aerial supports (the latter painted in metallic paint to prevent the metal from getting too hot in summer). 

This new habitat aims to provide a connection between the animals and people to further inspire a love and care for the wildlife and the nature that surrounds it. Auckland Zoo hopes to encourage visitors with this new landscape to make small practical changes both at home and locally for a positive impact globally. 

Auckland Zoo primate team leader Amy Robbins is at the forefront of the orangutan and siamangs habitat, working with the species for almost 20 years, says that the habitat is an “immersive environment that so brilliantly provides for how I see their species behave in the wild, and ensures their absolute best care”.

“It also delivers a truly original experience and perspective for our visitors to connect with wildlife to develop an even deeper appreciation for the extraordinary natural world that we all share,” says Buley.

The new high canopy habitat is unique not just to Aotearoa but globally says Buley, and it gives visitors the opportunity to see the wonders of the South East Asian wildlife. The landscape allows visitors to see the animals up close and personal through viewing windows, and see them swing from afar from Auckland Zoo’s new café, Te Puna. 

Watch orangutans swing on trees and ropes, and enjoy the loud calls of the siamang that echo throughout the Zoo.

With entry tickets, Auckland Zoo is able to continue to support conservation efforts in South East Asia, which is one of the most threatened and species-rich places on Earth. The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme is one of the Zoo’s key projects, aiming to aid the endangered species sustainable and safe environments from their extinction from the destruction of their homes, rainforests for palm oil. 

Auckland Zoo aims to expand the South East Asian Jungle Track to feature more habitats in the future for more than 20 species from South East Asia.

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