PERTH Zoo has released its third orang-utan in the wild after eight-year-old Nyaru was set free into a protected Indonesian rainforest.
The release of Perth Zoo-born Nyaru into the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem on August 2 came after he spent 12 weeks in the Zoo’s funded sanctuary to acclimatise to the Sumatran environment.
Perth Zoo primate supervisor Holly Thompson said Nyaru was chosen for release because he had the right attributes.
“It came down to his age and timing, his mother raised him well and he is very independent,” she said.
“He underwent two years of training before he was released, he was separated from his mother when he was six years old and he spent time with his father and then socialised with the younger orang-utans.
“He knows how to play and he also underwent diet changes to cope with the changing of seasons and the availability of certain fruits and vegetables.”
Ms Thompson said Nyaru would be tracked with a chip and Perth Zoo staff would keep an eye on him.
“It will be interesting to see how he goes, he has been travelling great distances and coping exceptionally well so far,” she said.
“He already knows how to deal with eating unripe fruit and he understands how to socialise, so I think he should do well.
“We are the only zoo in the world releasing orang-utans into the wild and we do this in partnership with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (in Germany).”