Orangs learn new ropes

There was lots of aping around from Bornean orang utan, Sprout, when she discovered new swinging ropes in her den.

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The Upper Primates team spent a day replacing the webbing in the girls’ internal enclosure, which was quickly put to the test by the excitable three-year-old.

Keeper, Sam Grove, said: “We have to use hardwearing materials when dealing with orangs, so we use a strong polyester webbing instead of ordinary rope, as we find that this is the only thing that can withstand an inquisitive orangutan.”

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Using special locking nuts to fit the webbing to the frame, keepers also installed new plastic tyres to the rope, which can also double as swings and changed the positioning of the ropes for enrichment fun.

Sam added: “Orangs are incredibly strong creatures and will put all new things to the test. We knew that as soon as we let them in back in they would both go round and try and unscrew the nuts and bolts, so we had to make sure everything was orang proofed first.”

While Jazz and Sprout enjoyed a day out in the sunshine, staff also used the opportunity to carry out a spring clean of the den by adding new woodchip to the floor.