Philadelphia Zoo uses orangutan's birthday party as educational event

"Batu," a Sumatran orangutan, was born at the Philadelphia Zoo nine years ago.

John McDevitt
October 11, 2018 - 6:08 pm
"Batu," a Sumatran orangutan

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia Zoo threw a birthday party on Thursday for a member of its family. Not only was it a day of fun, but it was educational too. 

"Batu," a Sumatran orangutan, was born at the Philadelphia Zoo nine years ago. Guests and members of the zoo staff watched as the birthday girl enjoyed enrichment activities and treats. The species is from the Indonesian island of Sumatra and listed as critically endangered because of habitat loss. 

Michael Stern is curator of primates and small mammals. He says not only does the event celebrate the animals, it also draws awareness to conservation and what we all can do to save animals threatened in the wild.

"There are certain things that you can do, like recycling, using less electricity, using less water that helps all kinds of different animals," Stern said. "And then when you are buying your Halloween candy this year, look for something that is orangutan friendly. Look for certified sustainable palm oil or what is called orangutan friendly palm oil."

That oil used in sustainable sweets he says comes from the farms that are not destroying rainforests and orangutans' habitat.