The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Orangutan Born

Monkey around at a variety of Ape Awareness Month activities this weekend at the Brookfield Zoo.

The educational fun, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday, will take place in the zoo's Tropic World exhibit, home to three endangered ape species: western lowland gorillas, orangutans and white-cheeked gibbons.

Visitors may compare their own handprints with those of an orangutan's and gorilla's and see how much wider an orangutan's arm span is compared to a human's. Gorilla-sized T-shirts will be available to try on. Another display shows what the apes eat at Brookfield.

"The activities will be both an entertainment and learning experience," said Craig Demitros, the zoo's associate curator of primates.

"Kids always like the primate house, and they'll be able to see the new 6-month-old baby orangutan with his mom. We also have two young gorillas, 4 and 5 years old. They're like young juveniles and are very playful and the kids love to watch them play," Demitros said.

One of the most popular Ape Awareness Month activities for youngsters is the wheelbarrow top exhibit. "We give the gorillas wheelbarrow tops to build nests, and we'll have one out on exhibit with blankets and towels so kids can practice building like the gorillas," Demitros said.

The zoo's volunteer educators will be stationed throughout the exhibit to answer questions and present the activities. Visitors also may attend informal Zoo Chats and watch the apes being fed by keepers. At noon on both days, the animal care staff will offer facts and stories about the gibbons. An orangutan zookeeper will tell why the palm oil industry is having a negative impact on this species' natural habitat.

At 2:30 p.m., guests who gather on the bridge in Tropic World's Africa section can hear gorilla facts and learn about the zoo's gorillas.

Ape Awareness Month activities also will be held April 25-26. Activities are free with regular zoo admission: $12 for adults; $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older; free for kids under 2. Parking is $8. Call (708) 688-8000 or visit The zoo is off First Avenue at 31st Street in Brookfield."


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