The Indianapolis Zoo is going crazy for orangutans and in 2014 they’ll prove it with a new $20 million International Orangutan Center.
According to world renowned orangutan expert Robert Shumaker the new exhibit will be unparalleled when compared to other orangutan exhibits. As Shumaker puts it:
“It will quite simply be the best zoo habitat for orangutans anywhere in the world.”
Zoo officials say they are not attempting to simply “awe” visitors, but also to raise conservation efforts and preserve a “natural habitat” environment for the animals.
Indianapolis zookeepers have been housing eight orangutans since 2010 in a large private facility that is not currently open to zoo visitors and two others who will be introduced to the exhibit are being held at another private facility.
The $20 million exhibit is fully funded through $30 million in donations the zoo has recently received, the rest of the money will fund a Tiger Forest opening in early 2012 along with renovations to the zoo entrance, improvements to the African lion habitat and the Flights of Fancy: A Brilliance of Birds exhibit that is expected to open in Spring 2012.
According to zoo officials the exhibit will be built directly at the heart of the 64-acre property with construction beginning in the summer of 2012. When completed orangutans on the property will receive 4-acres of space to explore with a large atrium ceiling that is 90 feet off the ground.
Throw in various jungle gym style platforms and zoo officials say the exhibit will allow the orangutans to explore, place and move about like they have before been able to do in captivity.
Would you be interested in visiting the orangutan exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo.
[Image via ShutterStock.com]