KTSM Goes Wild: Orangutans enjoy popcorn and vegetables during daily enrichment

El Paso News

Watch the orangutans and other zoo animals on live cameras

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Orangutans at the El Paso Zoo enjoy leaves, popcorn and Cheerios during their daily enrichment hour.

Katie Robertson has been a zookeeper in the El Paso Zoo Asia Department for more than six years. There are currently three orangutans living at the El Paso Zoo. Ibu, who is the mom, is 29 years old. Butch is the dad at 35 years old. Khaleesi is the baby who is now 5 years old.

“The orangutans like to eat almost anything we give them. Today (they are) in some of the spinning balls and the boxes as well. They did have some plain Cheerios as the treat for them,” said Katie Robertson, zookeeper in Asia Department. “One of the things we give them as well is enrichment every day — and that’s just something that is outside of their normal habitat. We give them different enrichment items. We spread it all out so they interact with it a lot.”

Robertson said they enjoy eating different types of cereals, as well as plain popcorn. Fruits and vegetables are also included in their diet.

“One thing I notice, especially after they go onto exhibit in the morning or after their noon training session — they interact a lot and move around. They look to see all the new items that we’ve given them. Then after just a few minutes, my favorite thing is, Khaleesi will go over to her dad and see what her dad still has to eat and she’ll like to share his food as well. She’ll go right to him. He’s really gentle with her. She will even take food from his mouth or something and he just lets her. He’s such a good dad. He’s a great parent,” shared Robertson.

To watch the orangutans and other zoo animals on the live cameras 24/7, visit http://www.elpasozoo.org/zoo-cameras.

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