Sunday, May 29, 2011

Orangutan sisters share the same facial features... Would they share more, if they met?

Having a lovely conversation with Lucy, at the
National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
Well, this is fun! It turns out that orangutan sisters connect two of the bloggers who post to this intimate ape blog. I was a volunteer at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., where Lucy charms the visitors every day. Emma, of Coffee with Towan blogsite, frequents Seattle’s Woodland Zoo, where Melati charms her visitors.

It turns out that Lucy and Melati are sisters.

Check out how gorgeous (and similar) these two orangutan ladies are. Emma has posted delightful pictures of Melati at More Betty than Veronica, and I’ve posted my favorite picture of Lucy on the National Zoo orangutans page on my Chimp Trainer’s Daughter blogsite.

Melati is the older sister, one of a set of twins born in December 1971 to National Zoo’s Jennie and Jiggs, two wild-born orangutans. (The other twin, Mawar, died the day after her first birthday.) Lucy was born two years later, in March 1973.

Melati has had more permanence in her life. She was transferred to Seattle when she was 3½ years old, and she’s lived there ever since. Lucy was sent to Kansas City Zoo when she was only 2 weeks old, and has spent a lifetime on the road – from National Zoo to KC, then to Miami Metro Zoo, on to Monkey World, back to the zoo world at Pittsburg Zoo, and finally back home to National Zoo, where she is adored by all the zoo volunteers and visitors.

While Lucy loves watching the zoo visitors, she doesn't get along very well with the other female orangutans. I wonder what would happen if she met Melati? They were only at the same zoo for the first two weeks of Lucy's life, but would they connect like long-lost human siblings sometimes do? 

Leave a comment, and let us know what you think. How do you think Lucy and Melati would relate to each other, if they could meet for a moment in time?
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