Rita’s close encounter!

Jorong had a very special visitor for his 21st birthday – his adopter Rita Nicholls, who came armed with presents for her favourite DZG boy. 


Zoo member Rita booked up a close encounter with the orang utan specifically on his big day, as she’s adopted him for the last six years.

Rita, from Willenhall, said: “I just love everything about great apes, so it was a wonderful experience to be able to get so close to Jorong and I even got the opportunity to give him a drink of squash from a jug.”


It’s not the first time Rita has had a meet and greet with the orangs, but the last time she did it she met Benji, Jazz and a then-baby Sprout instead, but she was determined to meet Jorong on his milestone birthday this time.

During the 30-minute encounter Rita, who also brought some fruit and sheets for the orangs, helped keepers throw some treats wrapped in colourful tissue paper over the moat into Jorong’s outdoor enclosure, for him to discover and unwrap.

Rita added: “I loved every second. It’s the third encounter I’ve now done at DZG – I’ve met the lions and now the orangs twice. I would highly recommend them, not just because you get to see the animals up close, but because the keepers are so knowledgeable too.”

Considering a close encounter at DZG?

We offer meet and greets with the lemurs, spider monkeys, penguins, giraffes, big cats, orang utans, bats,  Discovery Centre critters as well as our Patagonian sealions – back by popular demand!

For more information CLICK HERE.