Top Belgian zoo Pairi Daiza is to mark this month’s post-Covid reopening with a bid to boost the birthrate of Borneo’s endangered orangutans.
Two new Sumatran females from a zoo in Budapest are settling in at the Wallonia theme park in time for its re-opening on 12 February. The new additions, named Julia and Moli, will be joining six great apes already among the zoo’s 7,000-strong animal population.
According to the World Wildlife Federation, orangutan numbers have shrunk from some 230,000 a century ago – with the Sumatran sub-species now classed as critically endangered. The introduction of two new females is part of a European conservation effort to boost numbers of species in danger of extinction.
Regularly crowned among Europe’s best, the private zoo – which holds some 800 species including the largest group of elephants on the continent – is working with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation to reintroduce offspring into their natural habitat.