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Melbourne Zoo

Orang-utan Sanctuary

Orang-utans are the largest living tree mammals in the world. They live in our neighbourhood, in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia (on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra). 

At our Orang-utan Sanctuary, you can visit the orang-utans in their treetop home. Walk the elevated boardwalk and watch them behave as they would in the wild: climbing, swinging, nesting and feeding high off the ground. 

Orang-utans rarely come down to the ground. They spend much of their time foraging for fruit in the upper canopy of the rainforest, and build nests out of leaves and branches each night. Our tailor-made exhibit allows you to watch them up close (and up high) as they go about a typical day.

The Orang-utan Sanctuary Visitor Centre features interactive games, sculptures, and multimedia and viewing platforms that connect and educate you with these highly intelligent animals, whose name means ‘people of the forest’.

Conserving Orang-utans

Sadly, Orang-utans are highly endangered – and in danger of becoming extinct – as their rainforest habitat is increasingly lost to logging and palm oil plantations. They are also hunted as pets. 

You can join Melbourne Zoo in making a difference. Be inspired by stories of people helping to save and conserve the Orang-utan.