Zoo welcomes new orangutan

AN ORANGUTAN at an Essex Zoo is to be joined by a new friend.

Roddy Ashworth

AN ORANGUTAN at an Essex Zoo is to be joined by a new friend.

Rajang, Colchester Zoo's resident 41 year old male, is gradually being introduced to a younger playmate called Tiga, who is nearly eight years old.

Tiga is described as “very active with a cheeky personality” and is already attracting plenty of attention from visitors as he explores his new home.

Initially, the two orang-utans will be kept separately, but after several weeks will be slowly introduced under the watchful eyes of Colchester Zoo's team of primate keepers.

A zoo spokeswoman said: “After the sad loss of Djambe, Rajang's female companion last year, we are delighted that there will once again be two orang-utans in Colchester Zoo's fantastic new development, Orangutan Forest.”

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Bornean orangutans, along with the slightly smaller Sumatran orangutan, are the only great apes native to Asia, and both species are highly endangered in the wild, with experts predicting that orang-utans could be extinct in the wild as early as 2015.