Beacon of Hope lit for first time at Indianapolis Zoo

Nina Mason Pulliam Beacon of Hope (WISH Photo/ Nick Nebesny)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Thursday night, for the first time, a bright orange ray of light lit up the Indianapolis skyline.

The light, the Nina Mason Pulliam Beacon of Hope, was shining from the Indianapolis Zoo’s International Orangutan Exhibit.

Zoo officials say the light will go on every night at dusk and turn off at midnight. It shines 150 feet high and was designed to symbolize the oranguatan’s brilliant color and hope for the future of the endangered species.

In the coming days, the orangutans – who just moved into their new home last month – will learn how to turn on the Beacon of Light for themselves every night.

“This beacon of hope really symbolizes that there’s hope for them, they are severely in danger, we’re going to do everything we can to help them in the wild, this beacon of hope represents that,” Jon Glesing told 24-Hour News 8.

A $1.5 million donation by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust helped pay for the light. It is made of fuel efficient LED lights that can change color and effects.

The orangutan exhibit opens to the public May 24. Click here for more information on the exhibit. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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