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Zoo orangutan going public

Tara, the Sumatran orangutan who arrived at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo this spring, is ready to meet the public. She will be in the orangutan exhibit through Sunday, the zoo said in a news release Friday.

The orangutan arrived in Fort Wayne in April from the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo. She can be distinguished from the other orangutans by her petite build and darker fur on her face, hands and feet.

Tara has not yet mingled with Tengku, the zoo’s 28-year-old male orangutan, or Melati, a 28-year-old female, so she will be alone in the exhibit through the weekend. So far, the three orangutans have had limited contact with one another through mesh panels behind the scenes.

“Our next step is to allow Tara to meet Melati face to face,” zookeeper Angie Selzer, who cares for the orangutans, said in a statement. That encounter will probably happen in the next few weeks behind the scenes, meaning that there could be days when no orangutans are in the exhibit. After Tara and Melati get to know each other, Tengku will join them.

Tara, 18, has a habit of climbing up to the skylights in the orangutan exhibit, so zoo guests will have to look carefully to see the petite red ape this weekend.

Blood drive to honor hurt teens

Café of Hope in Huntington will host a blood drive today in honor of Sydney Good and Alexis Fairchild, two Huntington High School students who were injured while parasailing in Florida.

Both teens suffered life-altering injuries as a result of the accident and continue to recover. The blood drive is to help honor the students and help ensure a supply is available for patients whenever and wherever it is needed, the Red Cross said in a statement.

The blood drive is 1 to 6 p.m. at Café of Hope, 900 E. State St., Huntington.

The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region for the Red Cross serves 52 counties, and needs 650-700 donors per weekday to meet patient needs in 58 hospitals.

– The Journal Gazette