Kumar, the Greenville Zoo’s new male Sumatran orangutan, has completed his quarantine period and has been making appearances on exhibit to explore his new home and enjoy the mild weather. Female Lana has also completed her quarantine period but is taking longer to settle into her new surroundings, so she will be transitioned into the exhibit a little more slowly. The two orangutans were transferred to the Greenville Zoo this fall as the result of a recommendation by the Orangutan Species Survival Program.
According to zoo director Jeff Bullock, while the introduction protocol can be long and painstaking, the goal is for the orangutans to get to know one another through the mesh inside their dens before allowing them together in a shared space. “Trust is important among a lot of species, but especially with intelligent animals like the orangutans,” said Bullock. “They need to trust each other and trust their keepers, so Lana’s keepers are giving her extra attention each day during their training sessions to build her confidence and develop that trust.”
Kumar was born on April 15, 2005 at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. In 2014, he was transferred to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, where he spent time with Baby Bob, the former Greenville Zoo resident and offspring of Mia and Chelsea, the Greenville Zoo’s beloved Bornean orangutans. Kumar arrived at the Greenville Zoo on November 4, 2016.
Lana, whose real name is Lagniappe (pronounced lan ‘yap), which means “bonus,” is a twin. She and twin Bonnie were born on January 26, 1985 at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and were transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo in 1990. Lana arrived at the Greenville Zoo on September 27, 2016.
Considered one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates, Sumatran orangutans are found only on the island of Sumatra. Compared to the Bornean species, Sumatran orangutans are thinner and have longer faces, and their hair is longer with a paler red color. In August 2016, there were 75 Sumatran orangutans (34 males and 41 females) in 27 North American institutions.
“Everyone is excited to have Lana and Kumar in Greenville, but it’s important that we take the proper precautions and proceed step-by-step with the introduction process,” said Bullock. “Kumar will continue to have access to the exhibit as long as the weather stays warm; however, even if the weather is nice, we won’t be surprised if he spends more and more time in his den, which enables him to spend time with Lana.”
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Contact: Jeff Bullock
Greenville Zoo Director