Rock-loving orangutan causes $198K of damage at STL Zoo

The zoo replaced four of the six windows last month and they hope to reopen the habitat in a week or two.

An orangutan's desire for attention became expensive for the St. Louis Zoo this year, after the primate damaged four of the six windows in the Jungle of the Apes habitat over several months.

A spokeswoman for the St. Louis Zoo said the replacement for the four panes of glass cost about $198,000 after Rubih the orangutan damaged them with rocks over several months in 2016. The Zoo had to pay $71,000 after insurance.

According to a blog post on the Zoo's website, Rubih began collecting rocks for attention In December of 2014, when she became the odd person out in her own family. She was 10-years-old when her mother gave birth to another daughter, leaving Rubih between childhood and adulthood.

In spring of 2016, keepers were told Rubih was banging on the glass with rock when they were not around. Over the course of a few months, she broke four of the six windows at the Jungle of the Apes habitat.

Trainers are working to rid her of the habit, but not before it became costly for the Zoo.

The spokeswoman said the Zoo installed new acrylic viewing windows between Nov. 15 and 22. Because of some changes made for the new viewing windows, the habitat won't be available to the orangutans until mid December, weather permitting.

Also see: STL Zoo's ‘Wild Lights' nominated for Best Zoo Lights in USA


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