Orangutan makes onesie out of coffee bean sack
Never mind London Fashion Week, an orangutan put on a style show of her own at Paignton Zoo in Devon this week - by creating a 'onesie' out of a coffee been sack.
The monkey, called Gambira, stunned tourists when she put her arms through the side of the bag before tearing a hole for her head. She then wore the stylish sack for several hours.
The hessian sacks, perfect for animals as it's a natural fibre, were donated by coffee import firm, the Costa Rica Plantation Company, and given to the five orangutans to encourage them to be creative and have fun.
Curator of Mammals and Director of Operations Neil Bemment told Aol Travel: "This behaviour is showing both the intelligence and curiosity of orangutans.
"The keepers cut holes in the sides of the sacks but after that it's up to the orangs how they use them. It's great enrichment for them - it stimulates them mentally and physically and tests their dexterity.
"They will use small pieces of fabric to soak up liquids to suck or chew. They also shelter under the sacks as they would giant leaves in the wild, which is practical if it is hot or wet, or if you want a bit of privacy.
"Getting into a sack is just playful curiosity."
The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.
Like the other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying advanced tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild. Orangutans share approximately 97% of their DNA with humans.
The Bornean orangutan is an endangered species, with deforestation, palm oil plantations and hunting posing a serious threat to its continued existence.
In fact, there are now believed to be only 50,000 left.
Forest is being destroyed to create palm oil plantations. Given the declining populations, measures such as switching to alternative oil products and maintaining sustainable populations of orangs in zoos are becoming ever more important.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 0844 474 2222.
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