Ah Meng turns nine with her favourite indulgence

08 MAR 2020
Singapore Zoo’s animal icon Ah Meng the Sumatran orangutan celebrated her ninth birthday with a round of tropical gourmet fruit pizzas. Her keepers lovingly prepared the novel birthday ‘cake’ using cross section cuts of watermelon as the pizza base, followed by generous amounts of durian pulp and toppings of sliced dark grapes and shredded slivers of aromatic jackfruit.

Ah Meng’s keepers lovingly preparing tropical gourmet fruit pizzas with ingredients that make this an all-time favourite fruit treat of the orangutan and her primate family.


Head Keeper Kumaran Sesshe presenting Ah Meng with the scrumptious fruit pizza package. The park’s youngest orangutan, three-year-old Khansa, looks on expectantly for a share of the birthday treat.


Since 26 February 2016, Ah Meng has continued the legacy of her famous grandma, assuming the role of Singapore Zoo’s animal icon. She, too, has been a crowd favourite during guest photography sessions and Singapore Zoo’s award-winning animal engagement programme—Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife. Through these activities, Ah Meng serves as an ambassador for her species and other threatened animals, helping to educate guests about the plight of their wild counterparts. Wildlife Reserves Singapore, through its parks and conservation fund, actively contributes to wildlife protection through research and funding activities in Singapore and across the region.

The robust young primate spends much of her day swinging nimbly in the trees or hanging out on a hammock with best friend Atina in the sprawling free-ranging orangutan habitat.

Singapore Zoo is home to a collection of 21 orangutans, consisting of Borneans and Sumatrans. Both of these species are listed as critically endangered under the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species. The zoo has welcomed 46 orangutan births since it opened in 1973. To ensure the genetic diversity of the two species, orangutans born in the park have been sent to zoological institutions in Australia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam as part of a worldwide exchange programme.  

* International Union for the Conservation of Nature

While enjoying the gourmet tropical fruit pizza, nine-year-old Ah Meng also takes a minute to check out the pizza box – she was likely enthralled by the cartoon likeness of herself. Beside her, three-year-old Bornean orangutan Khansa relishes not one but two slices of the fruit pizza!

Orangutans are curious creatures and will investigate any new item they get their hands on with a keen eye. Keepers regularly provide novel enrichment to keep their minds stimulated.


Not to be forgotten, Ah Meng’s cousin and foster mom Chomel, a 23-year-old Sumatran orangutan gets some pizza love from Senior Keeper Prakash Naidu.

Chomel took over the care of Ah Meng since just before her first birthday, when Ah Meng’s mother fell gravely ill. Ah Meng remains close to her foster mom.    


Since the day looked like it was going to rain, nine-year old Sumatran orangutan and birthday girl Ah Meng decided to convert her pizza box to an umbrella. Three-year-old Bornean orangutan Khansa looks unfazed by the weather and continues to chomp on Ah Meng’s birthday pizza.


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