Denver Zoo welcomes new Sumatran orangutan from Germany

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DENVER — A new Sumatran orangutan has arrived at the Denver Zoo, officials said Thursday.

Eirina (pronounced aya-REE-nah) is an 8-year-old female and came to Denver from Zoo Dortmund in Germany last week. She has been placed in the Great Apes building and can be seen by zoo visitors.

Zookeepers said in a statement that Eirina is very playful and likes to cover herself with blankets. Officials hope she will eventually breed with 14-year-old Bernas (burr-NAHSS).

Sumatran orangutans have been classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, zoo officials said. There are about 14,600 in the wild, officials said.

They are only found on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, and their survival is threatened by habitat loss from logging, mining, forest fires and timber clearing for agriculture.