December 7, 1997 |
Chantek, a giant ball of orange fur, puts a fist to his chin--sign language for orange. "Give me the cup, Chantek. Then I'll give you an orange," trainer Lyn Miles signs back, motioning to the plastic juice cup the 450-pound orangutan has nabbed from her. He repeats the sign for the orange, again without success, then turns away. "That's the 'No way, lady,' response," said Carol Flammer of Zoo Atlanta. Chantek is the latest, possibly most fascinating addition to the zoo's primate group.
November 30, 1997 |
Tucker the orangutan had a bad cough. A really bad cough. But orangutan cough medicine wasn't working on the shaggy 233-pound resident of the National Zoo. The antibiotic also tasted horrible, and Tucker wasn't fooled when the nasty stuff was stirred into coffee, peanut butter or Jell-O. He moped. The cough got worse. His lungs filled. He didn't go out to play much anymore. He was near death. That's when the veterinarians called in the physicians.
October 27, 1997 |
People killed or tortured 120 orangutans that were forced out of their habitat by wildfires that have raged through the island of Borneo, a newspaper reported. Willie Smits, chief of the Wanariset Samboja conservatory for the red-haired apes, said the animals were captured by villagers who beat or killed them, according to the daily Suara Pembaruan. He said some younger ones had been sold for up to $100. Smits did not specify the number killed.
January 19, 1997 |
The guide brought a finger to his lips in the universal sign for silence and pointed with his other hand to the sky. "Longbeak," he whispered. I was too late to see the hornbill but I could hear the swoosh of great wings as it lifted from a treetop 30 feet above: perhaps to return to the spirit world that the people of Borneo believe is its home. The hornbill was probably frightened by my noisy approach.
May 19, 1996 |
Minah and BJ, now happily swinging on jungle vines, were just little orphans when they narrowly escaped a lifetime of captivity. Bullet, who saw his mother gunned down, was raised by caring humans but suffered until the end of his days. Loved too little or too much, these and other brainy, sensitive orangutans have paid a heavy price for encounters with their distant cousins, Homo sapiens.
January 18, 1996 |
It may be your basic thief-trains-monkey-to-steal-jewelry comedy, but there were enough people falling into fountains, food fights and irreverent raspberries in "Dunston Checks In" to keep the 12-and-under set amused. "It was really funny, but it was probably funnier for littler kids," concluded Kelli Engler, 11, of Irvine. For Kelli, the movie's highlights included the orangutan's flappy lipped "pffft" salute to stupid adults, his scaling of the high-rise hotel as if it were a palm tree and his soulful, "puppy-dog" eyes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 1996 |
A 9.5-million-year-old, near-complete skeleton found in Spain belongs to a creature related to the modern orangutan and helps plug a gap in the knowledge of ape development, according to Spanish researchers. The team found part of a skull of Dryopithecus laietanus at the Can Llobateres site near Sabadell in northeast Spain several years ago, and have now found other bones there.
December 25, 1995 |
Smoke that spread through a primate house after a fire broke out at the nation's oldest zoo early Sunday killed 23 rare gorillas, orangutans, gibbons and lemurs. A security guard at the Philadelphia Zoo reported the fire shortly before 1 a.m. EST in the World of Primates building. It was confined to the ceiling in a 30-foot-by-30-foot section of the one-story brick building, Fire Commissioner Harold Hairston said. The primates, all endangered species, apparently died of smoke inhalation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 1995 |
A Duke University researcher's discovery that wild orangutans can make and use tools to gather food could shake some fundamental ideas about human origins, including when and how intelligence evolved. Duke anthropologist Carel van Schaik found the 12 tool-using orangutans in a virtually unexplored region on the island of Sumatra. Van Schaik presented the finding recently at a Duke seminar. "They've seen it at last.
March 12, 1995 |
Despite its magical title, Dad, the Angel & Me doesn't rely heavily on spirituality. The movie produced for the Family Channel uses earthly family dynamics to tell its story. The comedy-drama, starring Judge Reinhold (as Dad), Carol Kane (as the angel) and Stephi Lineberg (as "me"), tells the story of a divorced father dad whose 10-year-old daughter comes to live with him after his ex-wife dies. Appearances by the angelic Kane guide the young girl during her adjustment. Reinhold's Dr.