Orangutans' sleep habits mimic humans


What do you have to do to get a good night's rest?

The apes at the International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo have sleeping down to a simple science.

Sleep is something we all could use a little more of. When you're an active orangutan, you need your rest, too.

Swinging, climbing and just hanging out is all in a day's work for our Indianapolis orangutans. For the majority of their day, they're on the move, exploring the International Orangutan Center.

Even the busiest orangutan needs a nap and Rocky likes plenty of blankets.

"Rocky obviously loves blankets. A lot of them. He will also sleep in a plastic barrel, which is pretty funny," said ape keeper Austin Paul.

At night, orangutans sleep just like us - or at least like we should - capturing a full eight hours of sleep. They make nests to get comfy.

"We like to give them hay and straw, we even give them blankets and sheets and big cardboard boxes are also very popular," Paul said.

Orangutans sleep above the ground, because in the wild, predators would be a concern. In their new home, they only have to worry about who may mess up their claimed sleeping spot.

Azy, the dominant male of the pack, is also the group's protector.

"Azy likes to sleep up high. He likes to oversee everyone else," Paul said.

Generally, orangutans like to keep a nice and neat bed, spending time making the perfect spot to catch some sleep.

Chances are you will see the orangutans taking a nap here or there when you visit them at the Indianapolis Zoo, so watch to see the straw piled up or a blanket hoarder curled up on a ledge high above the ground.

Ape Week