Critically endangered orangutans transported to Naples Zoo

Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:
Deedee the orangutan. Credit: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

The Naples Zoo welcomed four critically endangered Bornean orangutans to their wildlife enclosure.

The orangutan family was transferred from ZooTampa at Lowery Park to Naples Zoo at the Caribbean Gardens Aug. 28.

DeeDee is the oldest member of the family at 43 years old. She is the mother of 15-year-old, RanDee and 5-year-old, Dira. The youngest of the bunch is RanDee’s son, 2-year-old, Riplee.

Randee and Riplee the orangutans. Credit: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

Visitors to Naples Zoo will have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures up close while learning about the challenges they face in the wild and the actions that can be taken to safeguard their future.

Found in the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, all species of orangutans have suffered from decreasing populations, making them critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Dira the orangutan. Credit: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

This is largely due to deforestation by the palm oil industry. Palm oil is a vegetable oil that can be found in about half our packaged products, from mascara to margarine. When it is grown unsustainably, new areas of forest are cut and burned, destroying the orangutan’s habitat.

To celebrate the arrival of the Zoo’s orangutan family, Naples Zoo will offer 500 magnets that feature a photo of Deedee and Dira as babies for purchase. The magnets are available for $10. The proceeds generated will go to the Naples Zoo Conservation Fund.

The magnets will be mailed directly to your home. If you want to contribute or visit the zoo, go to the Naples Zoo website for more information.

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