Auckland Zoo opens new habitat for orangutans and siamangs

Auckland Zoo is celebrating the opening of a new primate habitat today.

The enclosure, which houses orangutans and siamangs, is phase one of the zoo’s new $60m South East Asia Jungle Track.

The project has been heralded as the biggest development in the zoo’s 97-year history.

Zoo director Kevin Buley said it had been a “hectic journey” to finish the initial leg of the project amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to open the doors for the first time,” he said.

“The immersive new habitat provides an exciting and continually engaging environment for the orangutans and siamang and allows our primate staff to give them the very best care and animal welfare outcomes.”

Visitors would be able to connect with the animals and have a deeper appreciation for wildlife, he said.

Auckland Zoo primate team leader Amy Robbins said both species made themselves completely at home as soon as they moved in.

Once the project is complete, it will also feature habitats for Sumatran tigers, Asian small-clawed otters, Sunda gharial (crocodiles), fish, and other reptile species.