While fog descended on Christchurch overnight, cancelling our orangutans’ flight from Auckland and delaying their ‘holiday’ to Orana Wildlife Park, we’re happy to share these great ape passengers will fly out late this evening.

Tonight’s travel plans will see Charlie, Melur and Wanita arrive at Orana Wildlife Park well before daylight tomorrow (Friday) morning.

All three orangutans have remained in their individual purpose-built crates, and have been enjoying time out with their keepers, who have been keeping them company, and ensuring they have everything they need.

“Charlie, Melur and Wanita are all incredibly relaxed, which just goes to show how adaptable these highly intelligent primates are,” says our Primate team leader, Amy Robbins.

“The fact that they are so comfortable and chilled out is also due to the very close relationships myself and my colleagues have developed over the years with them all, and the huge amount of training and planning that we’ve put into preparing them for this transfer”.

Orangutans love their sleep, and Amy says they’ll be ready for bed when they arrive.

The three orangutans will have a two-year stay at Orana, while we build our long-planned for South East Asia precinct that includes an expansive new rainforest home for these Critically Endangered arboreal great apes. 

Auckland Zoo’s Primate keepers will be working between Orana and Auckland give Charlie, Melur and Wanita the best of both worlds – the comfort and security of keepers they are familiar with, as well as the stimulation of a great new environment and people.