Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A peculiar gig

Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland is adding a strange task to his resume. The 24-year-old Olympian is teaching orangutans to swing! "It is said that we can learn from apes how to climb, but this time they’ve asked me to get the apes back into the trees," said Zonderland. The Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, Holland, recently renovated its orangutan enclosure to include 1 private and 7 public 30' trees for the primates to spend the majority of their time in - since wild apes rarely come down to the ground. But after years of captivity, the orangutans have lost their skills for climbing and swinging. So the zoo has enlisted Zonderland's help and allowed the public to watch. "I hope on Friday they will be relaxed enough to copy me. I have no experience with apes...hopefully they start swinging nicely from the trees," the gymnast told a radio station before the 1st experimental session.

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