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06 21/06/2010

Orang-utans jump on the scales

Eight Sumatran orangutans have been weighed at Chester Zoo after Keepers cleverly devised means to weigh them within the animals’ enclosure.

The group of orangutans were encouraged to climb up a rope which was hung from a digital weighing devised. The keepers enticed the orangutans onto the rope by lacing it with an edible treat.

The heaviest of the group was adult male Puluh at 95.5kg and the lightest was 6 year old Utara weighing in at 17.5kg. The female orang-utans Subis and Emma were weighed with their 1 year old babies Kirana and Indah who still cling to their mothers.

Visitors regularly ask the keepers ‘how much does the ‘big one’ weigh?’ when referring to the group’s adult male Puluh. Chris Yarwood, Senior Primate Keeper at Chester Zoo, said:

"This is first time we have weighed our Sumatran orangutans since they have been housed in our Realm of the Red Ape enclosure. Most of our animals at the Zoo can be weighed as they walk over platforms but it was not possible in this case.

One at a time they were encouraged into the area containing the weighing device. As they climbed a single rope to enjoy the treat, the digital scales above the enclosure recorded the weight of each orangutan."

The Zoo’s enclosure is the largest in Europe and the orangutans can benefit from both the indoor warmth and the fresh air in our outdoor areas.

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