Orangutans and Siamangs: A swingin' good time
For decades the orangutans and siamangs at the San Diego Zoo have delighted visitors with their colorful personalities and intriguing vocalizations. Now, the two families of apes, indigenous to the same Asian rain forest ecosystem, share a habitat at the Zoo. Their exhibit provides a lush, naturalistic environment where arboreal orangutans and siamangs can climb, swing, and live in the same terrain as they would in the wild.
The enormous, glass-fronted habitat features numerous trees, play structures, ropes, and sway poles. Two simulated termite mounds offer a variety of tasty condiments for the orangutans to retrieve: mustard, honey, and barbecue sauce. You can go nose to nose with the curious and playful apes when they choose to sit on a deep layer of mulch right at the viewing window.
On the other side of the glass, the observation area for humans has been designed to feel like an extension of the exhibit. The flooring, made from recycled tires, feels like a rubber mulch walkway and looks like the mulch inside the exhibit. A group of kid-size vertical sway poles, similar to but smaller than the ones the orangutans and siamangs use, extends into the visitor area from the window. While the apes are swinging on their flexible poles, children can do the same on theirs!