New Orleans,
10:22 AM

Jambi Moves to New Orleans

Hannover Zoo says "Goodbye" to Orangutan

All his bags are packed, he’s ready to go: Hannover Zoo’s orangutan male Jambi will soon be leaving for Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Today, the zoo team said goodbye to the beloved orangutan and surprised him with a yummy rice cake, decorated with the letters NEW ORLEANS, written in grapes. Since palms are one of the several stunning features in Jambi’s new place, the cake was presented on palm leaves.

Next to palms, Jambi can look forward to forty-two feet high climbing trees, hammocks, natural ground, sunshine, a waterfall, and panoramic views of the Mississippi River. The new orangutan habitat with its spectacular climbing garden was opened in 2015. Here, Jambi will be introduced to Audubon’s three females, Reese, Feliz and her daughter Menari, and, it is hoped, make his contribution to conserving this severely critically endangered species. 

“It’s been a tremendous team effort with Hannover Zoo, Dallas Zoo, and Audubon Zoo to coordinate Jambi's transition, and we are very honored and excited for Jambi to join our orangutan family,” says Courtney Eparvier, Curator of Primates and Sea Lions.

“Jambi joining the Sumatran orangutan population within AZA will add to the genetic diversity of the species, and our hope is that as one of the highest genetically ranking males in North America, he will contribute to the Sumatran population to save this critically endangered species in the near future,” says Eparvier.

His new place to live was chosen after consultation between the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and the American conservation breeding coordinators Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Sumatran orangutans.

“We are very sad to say goodbye to Jambi but we are so pleased to have found such a fine home for him where he’ll have a new family”, says headkeeper Klaus Meyer. Audubon Zoo is part of Audubon Nature Institute, a family of ten museums and parks with a shared mission in nature conservation and education. A keeper from Hannover well known to Jambi will accompany the orangutan.

Jambi is 22 years old. He arrived in Hannover in the fall of 2008 from the French zoo La Bossière du Doré, and his departure for New Orleans means that Hannover will not be managing these Asian great apes for the foreseeable future.

Critically endangered

Sumatran orangutans have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN as threatened with extinction; there are fewer than 14,000 living in the wild and their numbers are declining, mainly due to the spread of palm oil plantations into their forest habitat.

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.