Denver Zoo Map
July 7, 2017

DENVER ZOO WELCOMES ADULT MALE ORANGUTAN "BERANI”

New arrival may be visible soon as he acclimates to new home

Denver Zoo is happy to welcome the arrival of a 24-year-old, male Sumatran orangutan, named Berani (buhr-AH-nee). He just arrived from the Audubon Zoo, in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 24. Berani may not initially be visible as he acclimates to his new surroundings, but if he is curious enough, visitors may see him in his first month inside the Zoo’s Great Apes building.

Berani was born at Florida’s Zoo Miami on February 15, 1993, and moved to the Audubon Zoo in November 2001. At Denver Zoo, his keepers hope he will eventually breed with 28-year-old female orangutan, Nias (NEE-uhss), after a recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals.

 Orangutan means “person of the forest” in the Malay language and the species is among the closest relatives to humans. Physically they are known for their stout bodies, long arms and shaggy, red hair. The orangutans at Denver Zoo can often be seen showing off their arboreal talents, swinging from ropes and trees in their expansive habitats.

Sumatran orangutans are classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with a wild population estimated at 14,600 individuals. Only found on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, their survival is seriously threated by habitat loss stemming from logging, mining, forest fires and timber clearing for agriculture, including palm oil plantations, and human settlements.