Thursday, August 12, 2004

Council accepts group’s
offer for orangutan

Rusti the orangutan might finally be able to unpack his bags at the Honolulu Zoo after the City Council agreed yesterday to accept the gift of a $300,000 enclosure for him.

The approval of the gift has been in limbo for several months as the city and the Orangutan Foundation International, Rusti's owner, hammered out an agreement for his stay at the zoo.

In February, Mayor Jeremy Harris announced that Rusti would remain at the zoo under an agreement with the foundation, but concerns over liability, zoo authority over Rusti's keep and whether the original donation of $200,000 would be enough to pay for his enclosure put a hold on the plan.

The foundation will also pay for a caretaker and food for Rusti. The attorney for the foundation told the Council that an unnamed organization has agreed to chip in an additional $100,000 to pay for the enclosure.

But zoo Director Ken Redman said he is not sure where the city would get the $450,000 estimated to build the orangutan enclosure.



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