Zoo hosts orangutan conservation workshop

Participants will address issues facing endangered apes in wild and in zoos

The Oregon Zoo is hosting the sixth annual Orangutan Species Survival Plan workshop Aug. 20-23, bringing some of the world's leading experts to Portland to address issues facing orangutans, both in the wild and in zoos, with a heavy emphasis on conservation.

"This is a critical time for orangutans," said Jennifer Davis, Oregon Zoo curator and organizer of this year's workshop. "Habitat loss, palm oil plantations and an illegal pet trade have pushed them to the brink of extinction in their range countries. To ensure their survival, we need to dramatically increase our conservation efforts."

The annual SSP workshop convenes researchers, zoo staff and biologists from around the world to compare notes, discuss recent events, and develop plans for advancing orangutan conservation projects, improving husbandry protocols and more.

Dr. Ian Singleton, director of conservation for PanEco's Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, will be the keynote speaker. Singleton, a former zookeeper, works at confiscating illegal pet orangutans and returning them to a life in the wild, conducting field research, and monitoring the remaining wild Sumatran orangutan population and working to protect its habitat.

The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
 
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
 
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian at 503-220-5714 or hova.najarian@oregonzoo.org