Tails from the Zoo: Ginger the infant orangutan

Dana Dean catches up with the St. Louis Zoo's youngest orangutan.

We first met Ginger the orangutan when she was one month old in January 2015. Now Ginger is almost 2 and when she's not snuggling with her mom Merha, she's practicing her swinging skills.

Kim Emerson, Great Ape Keeper, asid, "On a scale of one to 10, she's 100 for me. She has fluffy head of hair and it kind of gets out of control."

Ginger, who was born here at the zoo, is the youngest of 4 orangutans. Orangutans are highly endangered in the wild.

Emerson said, "There's only about 6000 left of Sumatran orangutans."

According to Saint Louis Zoo, their forest homes are being destroyed for palm oil plantations.

Emily Bowling, Conservation Educator, said, "With the outlawing of trans fats in the US, the use of palm oil is expected to rise dramatically."

Palm oil can be found in many products, including many types of halloween candy. So before filling your candy bowl for trick or treaters, the zoo is asking you consider buying products containing sustainable palm oil. The zoo has posted a chart with "Orangutan-Friendly Halloween Candy" on their website and they're also recomending an app from the Cheyenne Mountani Zoo so you can scan products right in the grocery store.

Just one way consumers can help. After all, Ginger would approve.

"Everyone loves a tiny, miniature animal, right? She's just so cute," said Emerson.

Candy list: https://www.stlzoo.org/files/6714/7489/7093/Halloween_Palm_Oil_2016.pdf

App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/palm-oil-shopping-guide/id671945416?mt=8


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