Thursday, June 12, 2008
Orangutans Take A Ride In The Singapore Flyer
Two orangutans from the Singapore Zoo had a free ride on the Singapore Flyer yesterday as part of a drive to raise awareness of the plight of these primates.
Chomel, the fifth granddaughter of former zoo icon Ah Meng which died in February, and Merlin, a four-year-old Bornean orangutan, took the first spin of the wheel yesterday.
Accompanied by their handlers, the two orangutans kept gazing out of the capsule at the sights of Singapore's Central Business District throughout the 30-minute tour.
Back on land, the animals were a hit with those who had come for a ride on the Flyer, many stopping to take photographs with them.
Both the Sumatran and Bornean orang utans live in rainforests and are threatened by habitat destruction, forest fires and poaching for the illegal pet trade.
It is estimated that there are 55,000 Bornean orangutans, and only 7,500 Sumatran orangutans, left in the wild. This makes the Sumatran species critically endangered.
To highlight the plight of orangutans, Singapore Flyer and the Singapore Zoo will hold wildlife conservation themed events for children every weekend from 2pm to 4pm from tomorrow to June 30.