New orangutans introduced to life outdoors

Dara, a 14-year-old female orangutan, hangs in the shade of a hammock while exploring the outdoor orangutan habitat at the Virginia Zoo's Asia - Trail of the Tiger exhibit for the first time Tuesday, June 17, 2014 (Virginia Zoo photo by Winfield Danielson).
Dara, a 14-year-old female orangutan, hangs in the shade of a hammock while exploring the outdoor orangutan habitat at the Virginia Zoo's Asia - Trail of the Tiger exhibit for the first time Tuesday, June 17, 2014 (Virginia Zoo photo by Winfield Danielson).

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – New orangutans at the Virginia Zoo were introduced to their outdoor habitats for the first time Tuesday.

The two orangutans, 10-year-old male Solaris and 14-year-old female Dara, were brought to the zoo May 1, 2014 where they joined orangutans Schnitz and Pepper, who have been at the zoo since 2011.

Solaris and Dara have completed a standard quarantine period, in which they were introduced to the environment, and are now able to join their companions in the Virginia Zoo’s Asia – Trail of the Tiger exhibit.

According to a photo release from the Virginia Zoo, they will be granted access to the habitat in the morning in increased increments until they are “thoroughly comfortable” with the surroundings.

“Our long-term goal is to breed them and have babies, so that would be really exciting,” said Jill Tarrant with the Virginia Zoo.

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