Ken Allen

Last updated

Ken Allen
Ken Allen orangutan.jpg
Species Bornean orangutan
Born(1971-02-13)February 13, 1971
San Diego Zoo
DiedDecember 1, 2000(2000-12-01) (aged 29)
Cause of death Euthanasia issued due to b-cell lymphoma
Known forEscaping from his enclosures repeatedly

Ken Allen (February 13, 1971 December 1, 2000) was a Bornean orangutan at the San Diego Zoo. He became one of the most popular animals in the history of the zoo because of his many successful escapes from his enclosures. He was nicknamed "the Hairy Houdini". [1] [2]

Contents

Ken Allen was born in captivity at the San Diego Zoo in 1971. In 1985, he gained worldwide attention for a series of three escapes from his enclosure, which had been thought to be escape-proof. During some of his escapes, his female companions joined him. Ken Allen's ability to outwit his keepers, as well as his docile demeanor during his escapes, resulted in fame. He had his own fan club, and was the subject of T-shirts and bumper stickers (most reading "Free Ken Allen"). A song, "The Ballad of Ken Allen", was written about him.

Ken Allen developed prostate cancer [3] and was euthanized on December 1, 2000. [4] He was 29 years old.

Escapes

During his 1985 escapes, first on June 13, again on July 29, and finally on August 13, Ken Allen peacefully strolled around the zoo looking at other animals. Ken never acted violently or aggressively towards zoo patrons or animals.

Zookeepers were initially stumped over how he had managed to escape. Zoo staff began surveillance of his enclosure to try to catch him in the act, only to find that he seemed to be aware that he was being watched. This forced zookeepers to go "undercover", posing as tourists to learn Ken Allen's escape route, but the ape was not fooled. Moreover, other orangutans began following Ken Allen's lead, escaping from their enclosure. [5] Zoo officials eventually[ when? ] hired experienced rock climbers to find every finger-, toe- and foothold within the enclosure, spending $40,000 to eliminate the identified holds.

Time in 2011 listed Ken Allen's story as one of the Top Eleven Zoo Escapes. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Orangutan Genus of Asian apes

Orangutans are great apes native to the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. They are now found only in parts of Borneo and Sumatra, but during the Pleistocene they ranged throughout Southeast Asia and South China. Classified in the genus Pongo, orangutans were originally considered to be one species. From 1996, they were divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan and the Sumatran orangutan. A third species, the Tapanuli orangutan, was identified definitively in 2017. The orangutans are the only surviving species of the subfamily Ponginae, which diverged genetically from the other hominids between 19.3 and 15.7 million years ago.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Zoo in Southern California

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, originally named the San Diego Wild Animal Park until 2010, is an 1,800 acre zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. This includes the largest collection of hoofed mammals in the world. The park is in a semi-arid environment, and one of its most notable features is the Africa Tram, which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, cranes, and rhinoceros. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the United States.

San Diego Zoo Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, United States

The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing 4000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies on 100 acres (40 ha) of Balboa Park leased from the City of San Diego. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, is a private nonprofit conservation organization, and has one of the largest zoological membership associations in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half million people.

Twycross Zoo English animal park specialising in primates

Twycross Zoo is a medium to large zoo near Norton Juxta Twycross, Leicestershire. The zoo has the largest collection of monkeys and apes in the Western World, and in 2006 re-launched itself as "Twycross Zoo – The World Primate Centre".

Los Angeles Zoo Public zoo and botanical garden

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a 133-acre (54 ha) zoo founded in 1966 and located in Los Angeles, California. The city of Los Angeles owns the entire zoo, its land and facilities, and the animals. Animal care, grounds maintenance, construction, education, public information, and administrative staff are city employees. As of June 2019, Denise M. Verret serves as the zoo's director, the first female African American director of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institution.

Chantek, born at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia, was a male hybrid Sumatran/Bornean orangutan who mastered the use of a number of intellectual skills, including American Sign Language (ASL), taught by American anthropologists Lyn Miles and Ann Southcombe. In Malay and Indonesian, cantik means "lovely" or "beautiful".

Wilhelma Botanical garden in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Wilhelma is a zoological-botanical garden in Stuttgart in the Bad Cannstatt district in the north of the city on the grounds of a historic castle. Wilhelma Zoo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Baden-Württemberg, seeing more than 2 million visitors annually.

Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park Zoo in Nevada, United States

The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, informally known as the Las Vegas Zoo, was a 3-acre (1.2 ha), nonprofit zoo and botanical garden located in Las Vegas, Nevada that operated from 1981 to September 20, 2013. It was located northwest of the Las Vegas Strip, about 15 minutes away. It focused primarily on the education of desert life and habitat protection. Its mission statement was to "educate and entertain the public by displaying a variety of plants and animals". An admission fee was charged. The park included a small gem exhibit area and a small gift shop at the main exit. The gift shop and admission fees helped support the zoo.

Topeka Zoo Zoo in Kansas, USA

The Topeka Zoo is a medium-sized zoo in Topeka, Kansas in the United States. It is located within Gage Park, just off I-70 in the north central portion of the city. Despite its size, it houses over 250 animals in a number of exhibits, including one of the first indoor tropical rain forests in the United States. It is one of the most popular attractions in Topeka, with over 250,000 visitors a year.

Indianapolis Zoo Zoo in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.

The Indianapolis Zoo is a 64-acre (26 ha) non-profit zoo, public aquarium, and botanical garden in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Incorporated in 1944, the Indianapolis Zoological Society established the first zoo at George Washington Park in 1964. The current zoo opened in 1988 at White River State Park near downtown Indianapolis. It is among the largest privately funded zoos in the U.S.

The Zoo is a New Zealand observational documentary series, made by Greenstone TV, that follows the lives of Auckland Zoo's animals and zookeepers. The series explores the new arrivals and births of Auckland Zoo, to the fights, illnesses and mating rituals, how the animals are fed and how they live. The series' production crew are based full-time at the zoo, but the series also follows zookeepers overseas on zoo-related trips.

The Duisburg Zoo, founded on 12 May 1934, is one of the largest zoological gardens in Germany. It is especially well known for its dolphinarium and, since 1994, for breeding koalas.

Hogle Zoo Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.

Utah's Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre (17 ha) zoo located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It houses animals from diverse ecosystems. It is located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Hogle is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

Kansas City Zoo Zoo in Kansas City

The Kansas City Zoo is a 202-acre (82 ha) zoo founded in 1909. It is located in Swope Park at 6800 Zoo Drive Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States. The zoo has a Friends of the Zoo program. It is home to more than 1,300 animals and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Orangutans have often attracted attention in popular culture. They are mentioned extensively in works of fiction and video games, while some captive individuals have drawn much attention in real life.

San Francisco Zoo tiger attacks

Two tiger attacks occurred at the San Francisco Zoo, in 2006 and 2007, both involving a female Siberian tiger named Tatiana. In the first incident, a zookeeper was bitten on the arm during a public feeding. In the second incident, one person was killed and two others were injured before police shot and killed Tatiana.

Nola (rhinoceros)

Nola was a northern white rhinoceros who lived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park near Escondido, California. At her death, she was one of only four of her subspecies overall. She was outlived by male Sudan and females Najin and Fatu.

Karen (orangutan) First orangutan to have open heart surgery

Karen, is a Sumatran orangutan, who on 27 August 1994 at San Diego Zoo was the first orangutan to have open heart surgery and in 2021 was among the first non-humans to receive a vaccine for COVID-19.

Karta (orangutan) Sumatran orangutan (1982–2017)

Karta was a Sumatran orangutan, who is best remembered for her attempts to have a living baby and care for it herself, first at San Diego Zoo in the United States, and later at Adelaide Zoo in Australia.

References

  1. 1 2 Silver, Alexandra (June 24, 2013). "Top 11 Zoo Escapes". Time. ISSN   0040-781X . Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  2. Middleton, Duncan (August 7, 2016). "The missing lynx and five other animal escapees including Ken Allen the Orangutan". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  3. Dankula, Count. "Absolute Mad Lads - Ken Allen, The Hairy Houdini". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  4. PERRY, TONY (December 2, 2000). "San Diego Zoo's Beloved Escape-Artist Ape Dies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035. Archived from the original on December 19, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  5. Los Angeles Times, August 26, 1987, cited at pqarchiver [ dead link ]

Further reading