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Photo: El Paso Zoo

El Paso Zoo’s Infant Orangutan Khaleesi Begins Climbing Independently

What does a one-year-old Sumatran orangutan like to do? Climb, explore, and climb some more!

Khaleesi is becoming more independent, and her mom, Ibu, is more comfortable letting her explore on her own. Khaleesi is playing on swings, climbing smaller trees and structures. Ibu is always nearby watching Khaleesi and helping her learn!

El Paso Zoo staff have made changes to the orangutan exhibit to help Khaleesi get around as she explores more. Khaleesi and Ibu are on exhibit at the El Paso Zoo Thursday to Sunday. You can see Khaleesi climb on the structures in her exhibit when you visit the Zoo, which include

–          a new, special climbing ladder (strong enough for dad, but small enough for Khaleesi!)

–          new and adjusted fire hoses that are more accessible for little hands

–          new, lower swinging opportunities for Khaleesi to play on.

““We will continue to adapt the orangutan habitat as Khaleesi continues to grow, develop and climb independently,” said Collections Supervisor Griselda Martinez. “Climbing independently is a developmental milestone and Khaleesi seems to be advanced for her age. It’s a fact that Ibu is very bright, and we believe Ibu has taught her well.”

Sumatran Orangutans are native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and are found nowhere else in the wild. They are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Only about 7,000 remain in the wild.

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