September 1st is an important day, because it’s International Primate Day!
Over 200 species belong to the primate family, including monkeys, apes, and orangutans. Some of the primates who call the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo home are the de Brazza’s monkey, swamp monkey, colobus monkey, orangutan, and Javan gibbon.
More than one-third of primate species are considered critically endangered or vulnerable according to the IUCN. Primates serve an important role in maintaining healthy forests and ecosystem, which is why protecting them is so important.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is dedicated to helping primates in the wild. Part of the way we do that is by partnering with organizations like the Gibbon Conservation Center, Orangutan Conservancy, Primate Conservation in Central Java, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP), who all work directly with these animals to help prevent habitat loss and human conflict. These conservation partners also work to expand conservation areas and improve protection where these primates can be found in the wild.
How can you help? Well, the easiest way that you can help primates is by visiting the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo! Every time you visit, a portion of your admission ticket goes toward supporting our conservation partners. Plus, if you use the washer you receive at the front gate to vote at our Kid’s for Nature kiosk, you can vote to specifically help protect Javan gibbons!
There are other ways to help protect primates in your everyday life. Amber Eagleson, our African Journey and Indonesian Rainforest Area Curator, encourages everyone to be aware of how our daily habits can affect conservation efforts across the globe. Palm oil, for instance, is an ingredient commonly used in products like chocolate, ice cream, soaps, and cosmetics. However, in order to grow palm oil, forests that house endangered species such as orangutans and gibbons are cut down to make room for more farmland. You can check the labels to make sure the products you are buying use Certified Sustainable palm oil, which helps prevent deforestation.
Happy International Primate Day! Thank you for your continued support of endangered species- check out our conservation partners at https://kidszoo.org/conservation/conservation-partners/ to find out how else you can help protect primates around the world.