Orangutan Forest Habitat Opens at Dublin Zoo

Orangutan Forest Habitat Opens at Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo launches major fundraising initiative for Orangutan Conservation


Dublin Zoo today opened “Orangutan Forest”, which will be home to the group of Bornean orangutans at the Zoo.

Orangutan Forest Habitat Opens at Dublin Zoo

Orangutan Forest was inspired by the natural environment of the Bornean orangutans, the tropical rainforests of Borneo. Orangutans are arboreal animals that spend the majority of the time in the trees of their rainforest home. The most spectacular feature of the new habitat is eleven trees, between 7 and 12 meters high, that will encourage the orangutans’ natural climbing behaviour.

The new three dimensional Orangutan Forest habitat is five times bigger than their old home, extending to 1,300 m2. It includes a new island some 80 metres long and 20 metres wide.


Orangutan Forest will be home to Sibu (37), his mate Leonie (35), their daughter Riona (10) and niece Mujur, born in Dublin Zoo in 2005. The orangutans will share the habitat with siamang gibbons, also found in South East Asia.

Speaking about the new habitat, Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, said, “The opening of Orangutan Forest habitat is another milestone on our journey to continue to develop Dublin Zoo into a world class zoo and provide an excellent visitor experience. 

Every detail of Orangutan Forest has been considered carefully with the wellness of the orangutans in mind and the design was always inspired by their natural habitat.  This wonderful new habitat will add complexity to their lives and stimulate their natural behaviours”.

According to Ciaran McMahon, team leader at Dublin Zoo, the orangutans are settling in very well to their new home, “I am delighted to say that the orangutans have adapted to their new home very quickly. They are spending lots of time exploring the environment and are thoroughly enjoying their surroundings. We look forward to seeing them continue to happily adapt to the Orangutan Forest”.

Bornean orangutans are classified as endangered with only an estimated 54,000 remaining. The main threat to orangutans is deforestation. Over the past 30 years, 80% of orangutan habitat has been destroyed due to detrimental, widespread deforestation due to forest clearing for oil-palm plantations, illegal mining and forest fires for ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture.

To raise awareness of the plight of the orangutans, Dublin Zoo has launched a major fundraising initiative for their partners the Orangutan Foundation

From 11th – 19th June inclusive, Dublin Zoo will donate €2.50 from every ticket purchased to the Orangutan Foundation. 


Dublin Zoo is also calling on the Irish public to get involved by:

  1. Text “Save” to 50300 to donate €2*
  2. Donate at the collection points on South King Street on the 11th & 12th June or at Dublin Zoo

Speaking about the plight of the orangutans, Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo, said, “The situation with orangutans is now critical.  Orangutans are endangered. This species is just about hanging on and their habitat is being destroyed rapidly. Every minute, an area of rainforest the size of 10 football pitches is lost in Indonesia due to deforestation. The most recent UNEP report suggested that 98% of Indonesia’s natural rainforest may be destroyed by 2022″.

We are calling on the Irish public to join our fundraising efforts and help save orangutans and their habitat.  From 11 – 19th June we will donate €2.50 from every ticket purchased to Dublin Zoo to our conservation partner the Orangutan Foundation. We will also be running a social media campaign and fundraising in the Zoo and on the streets of Dublin to raise awareness of the plight of the orangutans and raise money for this very worthy cause”.

For the last 4 years, Dublin Zoo has attracted over a million visitors a year making it one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions. Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation and all surplus is invested into developing the Zoo and conserving wildlife.

Orangutan Forest habitat at Dublin Zoo is open seven days from 9.30am to 6pm.

For further information on Orangutan Forest visit www.facebook.com/dublinzoo or www.dublinzoo.ie

Read some more...