e-mail

share

Both Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) are represented at Zoo Atlanta, which is home to the nation’s largest zoological collection of orangutans. Sumatran orangutans are currently classified as critically endangered; their cousins the Bornean orangutans are listed as endangered. Both species exist only in Indonesia, where Sumatran orangutans, which occupy the smaller range of the two, number fewer than 7,000. The current rate of decline suggests that as many as 5,000 orangutans a year are killed or displaced by habitat destruction for palm oil plantations, overharvesting for timber, human encroachment, and capture for the entertainment and pet trades. 

Meet the orangutans

Biji
Date of birth: October 18, 1970
Sex: female
Birthplace: Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center
Sumatran orangutan 

Biji is the oldest orangutan at Zoo Atlanta. She’s never had close relationships with the other females in her groups and prefers living by herself, which is typical of orangutans in the wild. Biji enjoys imitating her keepers. One of her favorite activities is to use a sponge and a tub of bubble bath and clean her night house just like the keepers do!

Chantek 

Date of birth: December 17, 1977
Sex: male
Birthplace: Yerkes Research Language Center
Hybrid Sumatran/ Bornean orangutan
 
Chantek was taught sign language as an infant – he knows about 150 signs. Some of them are modified ASL (American Sign Language) signs because his hands and fingers are too large to perform the detailed ASL signs.  He also understands most spoken English. Although he is shy, and will very often not look directly at strangers, he is very observant and is often listening to everything you say. Chantek enjoys painting, stringing beads, and constructing things. FAQs about Chantek (PDF) and watch the Hangout -> Chantek the Orangutan Hangout On Air
 
Benny
Date of birth: March 6, 1979
Sex: male
Birthplace: Born in captivity
Sumatran orangutan 
 
Benny arrived to Zoo Atlanta with Nicky in 2010, and Benny was recommended to breed by the Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). He enjoys playing and hiding under sheets or large pieces of paper for enrichment. Benny also enjoys dancing with his zookeepers. When he’s in a good mood and the music is turned up, he’ll soon be shimmying his shoulders and shaking his cheek pads.
 
Madu 
Date of birth: May 13, 1983
Sex: female
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Sumatran orangutan 

Madu serves an important role in the survival of her species by serving as an orangutan surrogate mother. Madu has done an excellent job in this role. Today, Madu is currently in the process of raising her fourth young orangutan, Keju, with the help of her keeper staff. Madu is also a computer whiz and can sometimes be seen working at the Orangutan Learning Tree
 
Miri
Date of birth: February 9, 1992
Sex: female
Birthplace: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Bornean orangutan
 
Miri is famous for her “kiss squeaking” – a vocalization orangutans use when they are nervous, upset or seeking attention. (This is also a good reason never to make that noise to an orangutan!) Miri is very playful and is a talented nest-maker; she likes to jump and roll in her nests at night. 
 
Blaze 
Date of birth: January 20, 1996
Sex: female
Birthplace: Audubon Zoo
Sumatran orangutan 
 
Blaze, who arrived at Zoo Atlanta in 2010 from Audubon Zoo, makes squeaking noises at keepers during training sessions or when she is receiving something she enjoys. Blaze enjoys collecting as much hay as she can find to make an enormous nest for herself. By the time the keepers are ready to turn off the lights, Blaze can usually be found reclining in her massive hay pile, ready for bed.
 
Satu 
Date of birth: November 30, 2003
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta; offspring of Miri and Sulango
Bornean orangutan
 
Satu’s name means “first,” and he’s so named because he was the first Bornean orangutan born at Zoo Atlanta. He was also the first offspring of Miri and Sulango, as well as the first orangutan to participate in an awake cardiac ultrasound. Firsts all around! Today, Satu is growing into his adult self. Stop on by and watch Satu’s cheek pads grow for yourself!
 
Dumadi 
Date of birth: October 22, 2006
Sex: male
Birthplace: Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Sumatran orangutan 
 
Dumadi’s mother died shortly after his birth, and the Orangutan SSP recommended that he move to Atlanta to be reared by super foster mom Madu. Dumadi might be the most playful Orangutan at Zoo Atlanta. At any given time you can usually find Dumadi wrestling with Remy, pestering Chantek, or keeping himself occupied with any enrichment item his keepers have given him. One of his favorite enrichment items are big paper bags. He likes to climb inside and roll around his night house.
 
Rembulan Wajah (Remy)
Date of birth: November 26, 2010
Sex: male
Birthplace: Fort Worth Zoo
Sumatran orangutan 
 
Remy’s mother became too ill to care for him at the time of his birth so, like Dumadi, he was recommended by the Orangutan SSP to come to Atlanta to be fostered by Madu. His name means “moon face". Remy can be a little shy, but he is incredibly close with his “foster brother,” Dumadi. Whenever he gets nervous, he’ll run to his friend for a reassuring hug.
 
Pongo
Date of birth: January 10, 2013
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Sumatran orangutan 
 
Blaze, a 16-year-old Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to a male infant on January 10, 2013. The newborn was delivered via Caesarean section with the consultation of an extensive pre-appointed medical team that comprised human obstetricians, neonatologists and veterinary anesthesiologists. After several weeks of consistent daily introductions, Blaze and Pongo began living together full-time in March of 2013. Blaze definitely has her hands full these days as Pongo is growing up into an incredibly playful and curious orangutan. You can read all about the daily lives of Pongo and the other primates, here at Zoo Atlanta, in Pongo's Primates Blog.
 
Pelari
Date of birth: September 14, 2013
Sex: male
Birthplace: Zoo Atlanta
Bornean orangutan 
 
Pelari is one of our youngest orangutans and is the son of Miri. Pelari is growing up fast and starting to find his way in the world. Every day, Pelari gets a little more independent and a little more comfortable climbing about his habitat without mom’s help.
 
 
Keju 
Date of birth: April 9, 2015
Sex: Female
Birthplace: Henry Vilas Zoo 
Bornean orangutan 
 
Keju came to Zoo Atlanta when she was 6 months old to be raised by Madu the “super mom.” Madu took to Keju instantly and has been happily caring for Keju ever since. Keju’s name means “cheese,” a special nod to her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.
 

By Group

Bornean group
Mixed group
Sumatran group
Sumatran group
Miri
Chantek
Benny 
Biji
 
Satu
Madu
Blaze
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pelari
Dumadi
Pongo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Remy
 
 
 
 
   
 
Keju