Markisa, a Como Zoo Orangutan, Has Her Own Soap (and she wants you to use it).

Saint Paul, MN (August 17, 2010) – Chandler Farm of Littleton Colorado has created a natural soothing, luxury organic soap bar named after Markisa, a Como Zoo orangutan and 10% of all proceeds made from Markisa’s scent will be sent to Como Zoo to spend on orangutan conservation efforts.

The honor was bestowed onto Markisa because of the unique birth of her son Jaya. The 23-year old primate received much attention in 2007 when she delivered Jaya via caesarean section and set a record for the fastest return & recovery of a c-section orangutan to a first-time mom.

Como Zoo primate keeper Megan Elder says the naming of the Honey Oatmeal scented bar is a huge honor. “Up until now,” says Elder, “Chandler Farm has used Denver Zoo and the Great Ape Trust of Iowa orangutan names for their products. We’re very excited that Como’s special orangutan mom is amongst the first to be selected for their new line of products…and, her scent is great!”

The soap is part of Chandler Farm’s Great Ape Collection and is 100% palm oil free. Palm oil is a product commonly found in body care products and processed foods. The Southeast Asia islands of Borneo & Sumatra, home to orangutans, are where most palm oil is grown and exported. Unfortunately, rainforest habitat is being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations – a crop that is actually native to Africa. The rapid deforestation of rainforest habitat is creating lots of conflict between humans and orangutans (and as a result, lots of orphans) and is driving orangutans towards extinction at an alarming rate. Chandler Farm donates a portion of its proceeds to the Phelps Great Ape Foundation, a contributor to rehabilitation centers for orphaned orangutans.

Ronna Phelps, Cofounder of Chandler Farms and Founder of the Phelps Great Ape Foundation says, “At Chandler Farm we name each scent after a different orangutan. We love learning about different individuals and their unique stories and names. Each one of our products is as unique as they are.”

Chandler Farm products are currently sold in many zoo gift shops including Como Zoo’s gift shop, as well as online.