Mate at first sight

Atan (left) and Ani getting to know each other better.

Atan (left) and Ani getting to know each other better.

By day, Ani the orang utan had been providing amusement to visitors at the Saleng zoo in Kulaijaya, Johor.

By night, she had been all alone dreaming of the ideal mate to provide 'amusement' for her.

The state Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) managed to find Atan, a male orang utan.

Thankfully, Ani is not lonely anymore and is getting her fair share of 'amusement'.

Zoo caretaker and animal trainer J. Siva Priyan said the department handed over 15-year-old Atan to the zoo on Dec 16, but he was kept in a separate enclosure next to Ani.

“We did this to make sure the two could get used to each other before letting them have contact.

“Two days later, they were placed in a single enclosure, and it seemed like love at first sight as the two immediately started mating,” he said.

Siva said he was thankful to the department for giving the male orang utan to the zoo.

“This is a wonderful present Ani,” he said.

She seems to be very high spirited and more lively since the arrival of Atan,” he said.

Siva said he would concentrate on the zoo’s orang utan breeding programme.

“Our main goal is to breed the species as they are on the brink of extinction.”

He hoped to continue to work closely with the Wildlife Department and urged them to consider sending a female panther to the zoo.

“We have a male black panther here and with a female companion, we could also start breeding them as well,” he said.

Published Dec 22, 2009