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Melb orangutans highlight palm oil threat

AAP logoAAP 19/08/2016

The orangutans from Melbourne Zoo have been showered with gifts and yummy treats to celebrate World Orangutan Day to highlight the threat of palm oil deforestation.

The zoo is pushing for mandatory labelling of palm oil on all products to stop further orangutan deaths in the wild due to loss of habitat.

"We want to give consumers a choice to choose sustainable palm oil or not sustainable palm oil, to do that we need to have it labelled," Melbourne Zoo director Kevin Tanner told reporters on Friday.

The zoo's campaign manager Emily Dunstan said meetings with government officials about palm oil labelling have been put off three times but it is hoped a decision will be made by late November.

Melbourne Zoo estimates more than 1000 Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are killed every year as their rainforest homes disappear.

Melbourne's six orangutans will spend the rest of the day munching on special treats made of nuts, dried fruit and sugar cane between activities to stimulate their senses.

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