Indianapolis Zoo’s International Orangutan Center

Quinn and Orangutan at Indianapolis Zoo

Join correspondent Julie Henning in Indianapolis, Indiana for the opening of the International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo. The 4-acre, $26 million dollar state-of-the-art addition is dedicated to orangutan research and conservation.

Home to eight orangutans that were rescued from private owners and the entertainment industry, scientists at the International Orangutan Center conduct daily research on orangutan cognition and behavior that will be incorporated into published research and accredited studies.

Nearly the size of two football fields, the International Orangutan Center offers plenty of room for the orangutans to roam and opportunities for visitors to get “up close and personal with” the Great Apes. The Hutan Trail, an industrial looking network of cables, platforms, and bridges circles 60-feet around the perimeter of the exhibit. If it’s not raining, you can ride the Skyline tram for your own birds-eye view.

Key to the mission of the International Orangutan Center and the Indianapolis Zoo is to raise awareness (and donations) for the conservation efforts to save the wild orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra.

Dr. Robert Shumaker and Dr. Christopher Flynn Martin work with orangutans on touch-screen computer monitors inside the Center’s learning lab. Lisa Goodwin is the Senior Keeper of the Great Ape area. Goodwin explains what zoo patrons can expect when they visit the International Orangutan Center and what types of things piqué the orangutan’s curiosities.

Check out this episode! on NPR.ORG Podcast “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer