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Gazette Premium Content Indianapolis Zoo Orangutan Center opens Saturday

Associated Press Updated: May 23, 2014 at 5:45 am

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new orangutan exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo is scheduled to open to the public this weekend.

The $26 million International Orangutan Center includes an atrium with a 50-foot ceiling and an overhead climbing trail some 80 feet above the ground for eight orangutans. The zoo spent eight years planning the exhibit, which includes an aerial gondola ride. The apes began moving into the center in late February.

The center opens to the public Saturday.

The center's major goal is to educate visitors about the endangered apes that now only live in the wild on the southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The center also will conduct research.

The zoo also encourages visitors to wear orange on Friday to show their support for saving the endangered apes.

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