First zoo-born twin orangutan celebrates milestone 50th birthday!

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
Chinta (CHEEN-tuh), a female orangutan at Woodland Park Zoo, is turning the big 5-0—a cause for celebration! Join the zoo Saturday, February 17 for a birthday party in honor of the zoo’s beautiful, red-haired ape.
The zoo will shower Chinta and her fellow orangutans with gift-wrapped presents full of favorite treats, streamers, flowers and, of course, birthday cake! Chef David Van Gelder with Lancer Hospitality, the zoo’s food concessionaire, will bake a ginger-carrot cake fit for an orangutan and loaded with favorite ape ingredients including carrots, sweet potatoes and ginger.
Orangutan Chinta Dennis DowThe birthday girl is the oldest animal currently living at Woodland Park Zoo and one of the oldest female orangutans in North America. Visit the zoo’s blog at for more photos.
Born at Woodland Park Zoo in February 1968, Chinta is distinguished by ragged bangs gracing her eyebrows and by her sweet personality. Worldwide, she and her late twin brother Towan (toe-WAHN) gained instant celebrity status as the first-known twin orangutans born in a zoo. Photos of the pair as infants appeared around the globe, including in “Life” magazine. While other twins have since been born, twin orangutan births are still a rare occurrence. Towan passed away in 2016.
Birthday festivities for zoo guests include: complimentary cake pops courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo Board Member Kevin Schofield (while supplies last); a meet ‘n’ greet with animal care staff as they shed light on the quality care program for orangutans and the importance of geriatric care; a photo collage of Chinta; docents with discovery stations sharing fascinating biofacts; and a free Chinta collectible card. To show love for Chinta and orangutans in the wild, guests are invited to take a palm pledge to choose consumer products that don’t have an adverse impact on tropical rain forests and the animals that live there. In addition, guests can enter a free drawing for a chance to win a commemorative painting created by one of the zoo’s orangutans, an orangutan ZooParent Adoption package and other prizes.
Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Cake and presents for Chinta: 10:30 a.m.
Birthday activities will take place at the orangutan exhibit located in Trail of Vines. Enter Woodland Park Zoo through the West Entrance at Phinney Ave. N. between N. 55th & N. 56th Sts. or South Entrance at N. 50th St. & Fremont Ave. N.

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