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Nenette, orangutan at Le Jardin des Plantes

Discussion in 'TV, Movies, Books about Zoos & Wildlife' started by Gigit, 11 Feb 2011.

  1. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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  2. dawnforsythe

    dawnforsythe Well-Known Member

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    I saw Nenette last week. Quite intriguing. I wonder why the Paris zoo gave permission to the film producers... It doesn't seem to cast the zoo in the best light, except maybe for their honesty.
     
  3. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    I haven't managed to see it yet. What was it about the film that made you think that?
     
  4. dawnforsythe

    dawnforsythe Well-Known Member

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    Responding to "What was it about the film that made you think that?"

    The film starts off with shots of lone animals standing silent on barren grounds, depicting lives of isolation and boredom. When it gets to Nenette, we are shown an obese orangutan spending day after day in a cement & wire enclosure. They show no interplay between Nenettte and the keepers, and no enrichment activities.

    I volunteer at the National Zoo in Wash DC, and observe our orangutans on a regular basis. There is a constant effort to supply enrichment activities and equipment, and they go outside to climb when temps are over 42 farenheit. The movie showed none of that for Nenette.

    My friend and I left the movie disturbed at the lack of stimulation in Nenette's life, and dismayed that the Paris zoo is portrayed as an urban institution that is only interested in putting animals on display for amusement. We got no sense of their work in animal conservation or in education for their visitors.

    It is a very sad movie. I felt it was a huge negative for the zoo.
     
  5. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    That sounds depressing. I know somebody who is visiting the zoo shortly so will be able to get their impressions. Or maybe a Zoochatter who's been there can comment?
     
  6. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    I've now seen the film, and heard from someone who has visited the zoo. I think you have to accept that it is just a film featuring Nenette and her companions rather than a documentary about their life. They've shown what they wanted to show.

    The house is very dated but apparently the outdoor enclosure isn't so bad. They don't get much enrichment, though I've seen orangs who get less. They seemed to enjoy the sheets to hide under and the bottles of tea. They have a scatter feed at lunchtime from the mesh roof of the outdoor enclosure. They do get time with the keepers - they have 1-2 hours training a day, apart from Nenette who isn't interested.

    My friend, who has experience of working with orangs, felt that they were well looked after and happy, so maybe you can get a distorted view of the zoo from the film. I actually enjoyed it and was interested to hear the same sort of comments from the French public that I hear at my local zoo!
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It sounds rather similar to a short film I saw a long while back depicting
    the daily life of a pair of subadult Gorillas(Samson & Dalilah) in their standard barred cage at the Copenhagen Zoo. Shot in black and white, it was silent and 'moody' and gave the impression their lives were very sterile, with no enrichment or involvement from keepers etc.-which wasn't necessarily the case. (It was just how the film director wanted to make it).

    Incidentally life became much better for this pair, Because of the unsuitable conditions, Copenhagen sensibly allowed them to go(seperately) to other zoos- Samson the male is now the leader/breeding male of the group at Givskud in Denmark, and Dalilah became a member and regular breeder in Apenheul's group and is now at Gaia Park. Shows what can happen if a non-breeding/platonic pair are given fresh partners.
     
  8. dawnforsythe

    dawnforsythe Well-Known Member

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    And yet another linkage between great ape and human reveals itself (with the learned help of Pertinax)!:D
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Examples in Zoo Gorillas are too numerous to mention, particularly in the past when zoos kept just pairs together from babyhood and never bred them-unless they exchanged one of them. Nowadays the larger group situations and regular transfers of animals between zoos has largely precluded this.