Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Dine at Zoo’s restaurant and help save orang utans

Auckland City Council

Media release

Dine at Zoo’s rainforest restaurant and help save orang utans

For one night only, Auckland Zoo is offering a unique dining experience in its rainforest to raise funds to help Sumatran orang utans in the wild – a species now critically endangered due to the rapid growth of palm oil plantations.

Dining in the company of spider monkeys, siamangs and tamarins, and being waited on by zookeepers, is just part of what will be a unique and unforgettable night out for adventurous foodies and animal lovers on Sunday 9 November – the start of Orang utan Caring Week (9 – 14 November).

The evening (4.45pm to 9.30pm) will also include going behind the scenes to meet some of the Zoo’s animals up close. First up will be an encounter with elephants Kashin and Burma, followed by the chance to watch them paint – an activity they enjoy as part of their behavioural enrichment programme. One lucky guest will get to keep the painting.

Other up-close experiences will include a visit to Visa Entertainment Tiger Territory to watch a tiger encounter, followed by mystery tours with keepers to meet a range of other animals.

A professionally catered three-course meal, guaranteed to be palm oil-free, will then be served by primate keepers in the heart of the Newstalk ZB Rainforest.

Live music will add to the ambiance of the evening, and scatter feeds will keep the rainforest’s resident animals active and interested. There will also be the opportunity to chat with the keepers – many of whom star on ‘The Zoo’ TV show.

“This is a dining experience like no other. More importantly, it’s one that is going to be helping orang utans. “These incredibly beautiful great apes are genetically over 97% similar to us humans, and yet sadly, are being decimated because of human activity,” says Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund officer, Peter Fraser.

“Orang utan habitat in Sumatra and Borneo is being destroyed and logged unsustainably. This is despite the fact that there is already plenty of cleared land suitable for growing palm oil – but those companies involved want to make money from both the wood and palm oil. Palm oil is now used in so many everyday products and current labelling does not specify whether the palm oil has come from a sustainable source or not. “We can all make a difference by finding alternatives to these products. Unless we act now to help orang utans – our closest relatives - they will all be gone within our lifetime,” says Mr Fraser.

The cost per person for this exclusive experience is $200 per person (including drinks). Bookings can be made for a minimum of two people or a maximum of 10. For further details and to view the rainforest restaurant’s menu, visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz To book, phone (09) 360 3800, Ext. 3828.

All proceeds from the evening will go to assist the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project (SOCP) and its ‘Wildlife Protection Units’ in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra’s Jambi province. For more about palm oil and orang utans visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz www.palmoilaction.org.au and www.sumatranorangutan.com

NOTE: The rain venue for dinner is the zoo’s Old Elephant house, and all behind-the-scenes encounters are weather dependent.

ENDSABOUT AUCKLAND ZOO
Auckland Zoo is an enterprise of Auckland City Council. It is home to the largest collection of native and exotic wildlife species in New Zealand (over 1300 animals and 179 species) and attracts over half a million visitors annually. It is becoming increasingly well known nationally and internationally through the award-winning television programme, 'The Zoo'. At the heart of all Auckland Zoo's work and activities is its mission: "to focus the Zoo’s resources to benefit conservation and provide exciting visitor experiences which inspire and empower people to take positive action for wildlife and the environment". Auckland Zoo is a member of both the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks & Aquaria (ARAZPA) and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).

Orang utans

• Are the largest tree-dwelling animals on Earth, and the only great apes of Asia

• Only live on two islands – Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia

• Have the most intense relationship between mother and young of any non-human mammal

• Have the longest birth interval of any mammal. In Borneo, they give both just once every 8 years, and in Sumatra, some females may give birth only once every 10 years

• Females do not breed until they are 17 years

• Genetic make-up is 97.4% similar to humans

Conservation status
The Sumatran orang utan is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). Today, its population numbers less than 7000 animals. Over 90 per cent of orang utan habitat has now been decimated by the growth of palm oil plantations, and if the current growth continues, it is predicted orang utans will be extinct in the wild in less than 10 years.

The total population of orang utans (Borneo and Sumatra) is estimated to be between 40,000 – 50,000 – half the number that existed 20 years ago. Between 80 -90 per cent are found in Borneo.

Palm oil
Palm oil is a vegetable oil used in a lot of supermarket items, including cosmetics and bath products. If it is made from a non-destructive source, it’s fine. The problem is when virgin rainforests are cleared for palm oil plantations, destroying natural habitat. There are millions of hectares of land already degraded – land that is suitable for growing palm oil, but selling rainforest business is a lucrative business.

How New Zealanders can help

• Insist food companies label their use of palm oil

• Urge supermarkets to stop buying products that contain palm oil from unsustainable resources

• Write letters to the government, and request they make labelling of palm oil compulsory

• Only buy wood products from a sustainable resource. NOTE: Kwila and teak are two rainforest timbers often harvested illegally and commonly sold as furniture in New Zealand. Even if legal, they are never sustainably grown – they are wild rainforest trees. Look for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approval when buying timber products (www.fsc.org)

• Visit: www.palmoilaction.au www.sumatranorangutan.com and www.aucklandzoo.co.nz

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog