Orangutan is on the move

MOVING house can be a stressful experience - but Rajang the orangutan seems pretty relaxed about switching to his new £1.5million pad.

MOVING house can be a stressful experience - but Rajang the orangutan seems pretty relaxed about switching to his new £1.5million pad.

For more than a quarter of a century the 49-year-old has been delighting visitors to Colchester Zoo with his primate-charm.

The majestic male is loved by people from all over the world and 96 have even shown their devotion by adopting him.

Now the old patriarch is finally looking forward to a move to a £1.5m state-of-the-art orangutan enclosure with his partner, Djambe.


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The new centre has been sponsored by a staggering 440 people.

Clive Barwick, curator at the zoo, said: “He is very special. He's lived with us for so many years you'd have to be pretty hard not to care about him.

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“As with most primates people recognise him as quite human-like.

“He takes an interest in people and not just keepers. There may be something about a visitor that grabs his attention.

“He'll look at people and study their faces so people feel like they are making a connection.

“There is just something about orangutans that means people feel an affinity to them.”

Now work is underway to give Rajang, who was born in Chester Zoo in 1968 and moved to Colchester in 1980, a new enclosure which will be eight-times the size of his current home and allow lots of vertical space so he can climb to the skies.

Rajang, who has never had children, should be getting used to his new home from June along with female companion Djambe, who is 39.

Mr Barwick said: “We felt as if it was only right we should provide him with optimum living conditions in which he can spend the rest of his life.”

Have you fallen in love with Rajang? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Orangutans

The word orangutan is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning "person" and hutan meaning "forest".

Orangutans spend nearly all of their time in the trees and every night they fashion nests in which they sleep from branches and foliage.

Orangutans eat mostly fruit which makes up 60 per cent of their diet.

According some research orangutans are the world's most intelligent animal other than humans.

Although orangutans are generally passive, aggression toward other orangutans is very common. They are solitary animals and can be fiercely territorial.

The collective noun for orangutans is a buffoonery.

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