Milwaukee County Zoo

MJ (short for Maggie Jr.). Photo by Scott Engel.

M.J., short for Maggie Jr., was born at Toledo Zoo on July 28th, 1980.  She came to MCZ in April 2007.  She is a hurricane force wrapped up in a small package.  M.J. is always the center of attention and she loves interaction with her keepers and zoo visitors.  She is extremely adept at tool use and she can quickly dismantle almost anything when she is unwittingly given browse with sticks.  She enjoys all types of enrichment, but she is especially fond of water, chalk and her iPad videos.  M.J. is a hybrid and not recommended to breed, but she is an attentive surrogate mother and she adores babies.

Tommy O. Photo by Scott Engel.

Tommy O, or Tom for short, was born at MCZ on March 18th, 1982.    He is shy and sensitive and typically prefers to be a quiet observer.  Tom is most comfortable being indoors during the day and will go outside occasionally for snacks and enrichment. However, Tom loves to be outside during summer evenings.  He will hang out or explore for hours and will often long call at the end of the day.  Ipad enrichment is especially important to Tom and it has helped to engage him more actively in his environment.   He is particularly fond of watching video of  “The Joy of Painting” with artist Bob Ross.

MCZ supports orangutan conservation through various education efforts

and fundraising opportunities. 

Every Mother’s Day, over 10,000 visitors to Milwaukee County Zoo participate in the Missing Orangutan Mothers event, or M.O.M.s, sponsored by Orangutan Outreach organization.  Activities throughout the Primates of the World Building are designed to raise awareness of the effects of palm oil on orangutan habitat, and on ways to conserve the species.

Through a large grant from Kohl’s Department Store, MCZ stages conservation-themed theater performances several times daily during the summer.   Outreach performances are also offered to local schools and community events, free of charge.  The theme of two of the plays is orangutan conservation taught through drama, puppetry, games and songs.

The zoo is currently host to a special art installation called “Person of the Forrest” by New York artist Alina Bachmann.   The exhibit, designed to raise awareness of how we contribute daily to the extinction of the orangutan, consists of several large collage trees constructed from product packaging of grocery store items containing palm oil. Life-size pastel drawings of living and skeletal orangutans are placed among the collage trees.

In 2006, the zoo added an orangutan interactive graphic display in the Primates of the World building, and incorporated two small donation boxes.  Donations averaging $2,000 a year go directly to support the care of orphaned and rehabilitated orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra.