Sunday, December 11, 2011

The O-Line--National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

The Orangutan Transport System, or O Line, consists of eight 50-foot-high (16.6 m) towers connected by plastic-coated, steel cables. At the lowest point, the cables are about 40 feet (13.3 m) off the ground. The entire distance of the O Line is about 490 feet (149.5 m). Tower 1 is in the outdoor orangutan yard at the Great Ape House. Tower 8 is in the outdoor orangutan yard at Think Tank. The towers in between are outside the confines of the animal yards, and the O Line crosses Olmsted Walk twice. Patterned paver sections on Olmsted Walk alert visitors to the orangutans crossing overhead. A third crossing is highlighted in front of Think Tank.

The O Line is open to any orangutan given access to the yards at Think Tank or at the Great Ape House. The towers in the yards (1 and 8) are fully open for climbing. Towers 2 through 7 have only the top platform open to the orangutans. There are wide wire "skirts" below these platforms to keep the orangutans from climbing down.

The skirts and surrounding grid "collars" are electrically charged to keep the orangutans from climbing down (and visitors from climbing up) the towers. The charge in the system is just enough to give an orangutan a sharp sting without causing injury.

'A lot of folks have expressed confusion over what they hear from the animal rights activists and what they hear from actual animal people in regards to a "hot shot." The National Zoo has explained it nicely on their website linked above in describing the O-Line used by their Orangutans to get from one area to another. " The charge in the system is just enough to give an orangutan a sharp sting without causing injury." That's a "hot shot", folks. Powered by radio or flashlight batteries, just enough to give an animal a sharp sting without causing injury. Make's an Orangutan and a human go "Whoa", I'll go neither down or up. Not the human disabling thousands of voltage tazers and stun gun's used for Born Free's doctored demonstrations. Similar to a lawyer prosecuting someone for assault with a mop handle, and using a baseball bat to illustrated the damage that is done with a stick!!!!!! Your confusion is understandable. That is part of Born Free's agenda. Be vigilant and open minded, but don't be fooled by the theatrics of an activist with an agenda.'


Meaghan Edwards said...

Fascinating article. Hell, if I was a zoo Orang, I'd dig having that "O" ring. As for the ARists, I wonder how many people whould support a number of "sanctuaries" given their dark pasts some have. A certain well known one euthanaized a pack of wolves because they "couldn't afford" them anymore.

Wade G. Burck said...

The "sanctuaries" sprang up and gained popularity given the "myth" that they used to gain donations. That being that they were housing rescued animals. About 90% of the time that wasn't the case, but it made for feel good press and the handout's flowed like water. The well started to dry up once the folks wised up and realized they had been flim flammed.


Anonymous said...

If an Orang falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Because we know that if an orang fell in a zoo and cracked his skull there would be hell to pay. Seems like an awful risk they're taking there.

Wade G. Burck said...

Orangutan's are not Wallenda's. They are awful adept at at getting around up high. :)