Bali Zoo recently launched a Breakfast with Orangutan experience and we were invited to check it out.
We arrived at the zoo shortly before 8am (the zoo is around an hour’s drive from most popular resort areas of Bali so allow yourself plenty of time to arrive.)
On arrival we were seated at our table and the meal begins. Food options (by way of a buffet) included are fresh fruit, rice, noodles, bacon & an egg station etc. A basket of pastries & toast is delivered to each table. Fresh fruit juices are made to order.
While we were eating the zoo keepers began to bring out animals, the first up is an adorable Gibbon followed by tropical birds, a Porcupine, a Hornbill and a Pangolin. Guests are welcome to pat the Pangolin but be warned those fellas are a little on the stinky side. The interaction level with each of the animals varies and is at the discretion of the zoo keeper.
Next up is a visit from some of the zoo’s Sumatran Elephant population. Visitors are welcome to pat the Elephants or for around $6 you can purchase a basket of fruit and vegetables to hand feed to the Elephants.
In wander 4 adorable Orangutan holding hands with their keepers. They hop up on their ledge. Table by table groups are invited up to have their photo taken in front of the ledge the Orangutan are playing or eating (or even napping) on.
I have a cast on my arm and as I stood near the Orangutan she became very interested and began trying to stick her fingers in the top of my cast. We were moved to behind the Orangutan for our photo. They are so remarkably curious and inquisitive. I saw an Orangutan attempt to undo someone’s belt buckle as it was so shiny and intriguing.
We were table number 10 so right in the middle of the group and it really didn’t take long for our turn to come around. Each group is only permitted a couple of moments near the Orangutan and is then required to sit down before the next group is called. The keepers give a lot of instructions to ensure the Orangutan are comfortable and not spooked or handled by guests.
Once all groups have been called up for their photos, things become more relaxed and the Orangutan are allowed to interact with guests at the animal’s discretion.
My son approached the Orangutan’s ledge and stood still, he knew to be calm and see what happened, he had told me he hoped the Orangutan would touch his hand but what occurred was so so much more than that. The Orangutan was really interested in my child he put his arms around The Wandering Child’s neck and stared into his eyes it was amazing! The keepers stood by supervising the encounter. The Orangutan then pulled my son in close for a huge cuddle. It was honestly just breathtakingly wonderful. I really don’t have enough words to describe the moment or feeling. My son was so humbled and delighted he’d been gifted with the experience. Days later he is still talking about how lucky he is.