Orangutan adorably makes her bed and settles down to nap

Orangutans are beautiful animals with intelligence that places them at the lead for all of the primates. They are curious and thoughtful animals. Like we do, they have complex social structures and needs. Yet, their habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate and their populations are declining rapidly. They are critically endangered and we are at risk of losing them forever in the wild. This is Puppe, a female orangutan who lives at the Toronto Zoo in Canada. She is at least 53 years old, and she is one of six orangutans who live there. But unlike the others, Puppe is the only one who was born in the wild. She has lived at the zoo since 1974 when it opened. The Toronto Zoo is one of the most highly rated zoos in the North America for providing living conditions and overall care that far exceed the standards. They treat their animals more like family and they strive to create an environment that meets their physical needs, but also their intellectual and emotional needs. Food and play items are provided in a way that stimulates and challenges the orangutans in new ways. The Toronto Zoo also plays an impressive role in educational programs and conservation efforts around the world. Because orangutans are being hunted by humans and being shot by farmers, life in the wild is becoming increasing dangerous for them. As their habitat decreases, they are forced to seek food where farmland borders their jungles. This creates conflict with farmers who are intent on protecting their crops. Driven by consumer demand for food that is grown on what used to be the orangutan's home, we are capable of adding to this pressure on the animals without realizing it. By educating ourselves and avoiding food products that contain palm oil, we can reduce the need to cut down trees in distant lands. This is just one example of how our purchases can negatively, or positively, affect the creatures on the other side of our planet. Puppe is a true performer and she seems to love people. She is engaged with those who visit her and sit near her favourite spot at the glass barrier between her enclosure and the public. She reacts to facial expressions or interesting objects and she will even use a squeegee and bucket of water that is provided for her, to wipe of the glass in what seems to be her imitation of human behaviour. Whether it is for her own entertainment or for ours is difficult to know, but Puppe seems to have a sense of humour as her imitation of the cleaners is surprisingly good.