Orangutan

Sedgwick County Zoo Celebrates Lovely New Flower

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A Sumatran Orangutan named Daisy gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 8:14 a.m. on September 7 at Sedgwick County Zoo.

Daisy began labor during the afternoon of September 6. After laboring naturally through the night, she encountered complications and the decision was made to deliver the baby via C-section.

Dr. Laura Whisler and Dr. Janna Chibry of College Hill, OB-GYN have consulted with the Sedgwick County Zoo on all great ape pregnancies since 2013, and they were on hand to perform the delivery of Daisy’s baby on September 7. In keeping with the flower theme, the new baby has been named Lily.

Following Lily’s birth, Daisy was in quite a bit of pain from the delivery, and both mom and baby were at high risk for infection and other complications. Lily required close medical observation and daily injections of antibiotics to treat a systemic bacterial infection. Daisy required time for her incision to heal. A team of three keepers has been taking shifts to care for Lily day and night.

Newborn Orangutans are born with the ability to hold themselves to their mothers by clinging to their fur. In order to help Lily hone this instinct, her three keepers wear handmade shirts with fleece fringe attached to simulate mom Daisy’s long fur.

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4_42211158_10156632770353058_6441542360848400384_oPhoto Credits: Sedgwick County Zoo

Both mom and baby will remain behind the scenes for some time to allow for recovery and bonding. In the meantime, the Zoo will post regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.

This is the third baby for 36-year-old Daisy and the third for 22-year-old dad, Panji. This is also an important birth for the Sumatran Orangutan population. Sumatran Orangutans are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, largely due to deforestation for palm oil plantations.

(More great pics below the fold!)

Continue reading "Sedgwick County Zoo Celebrates Lovely New Flower" »


New Orangutan a First for Virginia Zoo

Photo 2 Virginia Zoo Baby Orangutan

The Virginia Zoo is celebrating their first Bornean Orangutan birth!

Mom, Dara, gave birth to her baby just before midnight on June 22, behind the scenes in her indoor den. This is the first offspring for both 18-year-old Dara and her 15-year-old mate, Solaris.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the news of our new orangutan baby,” said Greg Bockheim, the Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “I’m proud of our Zoo Keepers and Vet Team who have been prepping, training and waiting for this moment for months, and now their hard work has paid off. It’s a big success to contribute this significant birth to the Zoo community and the critically endangered species as a whole,” Bockheim added.

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Photo 3 Virginia Zoo Baby OrangutanPhoto Credits: Virginia Zoo

Since Dara had her baby in her den, staff has decided to keep them indoors to let mom and baby bond without interruption.

The exact weight and sex of the baby have not yet been determined. Staff will not intervene or separate the baby from Dara unless an issue arises where the baby needs assistance and veterinary attention.

“Dara is doing a great job caring for her newborn,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “The pair spend their time nursing, resting and snuggling in their den,” Clabbers added.

An Orangutan infant is completely dependent on the mother until at least two years old, typically nursing for several more years beyond that age. Offspring tend to stay close to their mothers for up to 10 years or more.

With the newborn, the Zoo now has five Orangutans: Dara and her baby, Solaris, 38-year-old female Pepper and 36-year-old male Schnitz.

Tune into the Zoo’s social media accounts for updates and information regarding its name in the coming weeks.

The species originates in tropical and swamp forests in Asia, specifically on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The origin of the word “Orangutan” is from Malay and Indonesian words, meaning “Person of the Forest.” These arboreal primates are relatively large and stand between 3 and 4.5 feet tall, and can weigh up to 220 pounds. They are widely known for their vibrant, orange-colored hair. Both Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans are classified by the IUCN as “Critically Endangered”.


Sumatran Orangutan Newborn Stays Close to Mom

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a Sumatran Orangutan on June 6. The baby is the third offspring for 30-year-old mom, Sumagu, and 27-year-old dad, Baka.

The Zoo reports that mother and baby will be in their regular exhibit in Primate World, which will be open for guests. Depending on where Sumagu decides to spend time, she and the baby may or may not be visible to guests.

Thus far, the pair is healthy and bonding well, so the Zoo’s staff has not intervened to determine the sex of the baby or any other details. The baby was clinging strongly to Sumagu within minutes after birth. According to keepers, Sumagu came over to animal and vet staff to take some fruit, and they could tell she had done a great job cleaning the baby up quickly. She then spent some time rearranging her nest after the birth. The pair has also been observed successfully nursing.

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Sumagu’s two previous offspring were both males: Makan, born in January 2003 and Godek, born in February 2009. Both of them now make their homes at other Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos.

The Zoo’s last Orangutan birth was Bornean Orangutan, Ember, who is now 3 1/2 years old.

Gestation for Orangutans lasts an average of 245 days, or a little over eight months.

In the wild, Orangutan fathers do not usually participate in raising offspring, but they tend to do well in zoos where there isn’t competition for food and mates. Baka revealed great fatherly instincts with his previous two offspring. Keepers are hopeful this will be the case with this new little one, but just to be sure, he will be kept separated from mom and baby for a short time.

Sumagu and Baka’s wild Sumatran Orangutan counterparts are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

Non-sustainable palm oil production is fueling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction. Found in cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, shampoo, lotions, cosmetics, pet food and many other products, palm oil is now the most widely produced edible oil.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is offering a way to make a difference during this crisis by choosing the products using their sustainable palm oil shopping app. The app helps consumers make responsible decisions about the food and health/beauty products purchased every day – just scan a product in the app, and it will tell you how that company is doing with using responsibly sourced palm oil for their products. To download the app, or to learn more about the palm oil crisis, visit: www.cmzoo.org/palmoil .

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More Sunshine for Denver Zoo’s Orangutans

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Denver Zoo’s six-week-old Sumatran Orangutan has been enjoying the warmer spring weather. Keepers have seen the little female several times in the outdoor exhibit, clinging tightly to mom.

The new baby was born March 25 to mom, Nias, and dad, Berani. The infant's unique name, Cerah, means “bright” in Indonesian and is often used to refer to sunshine.

(ZooBorns shared news and pics of Cerah’s arrival in an article from April: “Denver Zoo Celebrates the ‘Sunshine’ of Spring”)

Mom, Nias, is 29-years-old and arrived at Denver Zoo in 2005. Berani is 25-years-old and arrived in 2017. The two were paired together under recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® Program, which oversees the population management of select species within AZA member institutions and enhances conservation of those species in the wild. The coupling proved to be a fast success, as Nias and Berani met in July of 2017 and conceived Cerah less than a month later.

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4_32271308_10156550044412122_7603192785188945920_oPhoto Credits: Denver Zoo

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the world’s most endangered great apes. It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of palm oil plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products, throughout the world, from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

The species currently has an official classification of “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.


Mischievous Orangutan Caught on Camera

3_Mischievous Sumatran orangutan Tuti pesters her aunt in the most adorable way at Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo recently shared video of their five-year-old Sumatran Orangutan, named Tuti, pestering her aunt Emma in a most mischievous way.

Thirty-year-old Emma gave birth to a female, Kesuma, on December 18. (See the ZooBorns feature on Kesuma: “Chester Zoo Introduces Early Spring ‘Flower’).

Chester Zoo’s adorable new footage shows the attention-seeking Tuti using multiple sticks to “wind up” new-mum Emma, as she looks to play with her baby cousin.

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1_Mischievous Sumatran orangutan Tuti pesters her aunt in the most adorable way at Chester Zoo

4_Adorable video shows young orangutan poking her aunt with sticks at Chester ZooPhoto & Video Credits: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is currently the only zoo in mainland Britain that cares for Sumatran Orangutans, which can be found in its South East Asian Islands habitat.

Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii) are one of the world’s most endangered great apes and are currently listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with recent estimates suggesting just 14,000 remain in the wild.

It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of oil palm plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest.

Unfortunately, there is an intense demand for palm oil, which can be found in more than 50% of every day products in the UK, and around the world, including food, cleaning and cosmetic goods.

Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager at Chester Zoo, said, “All species of Orangutan are under enormous pressure in the wild, as their forest homes are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations. Right now we are fighting for these amazing animals in South East Asia – helping restore depleted forests and building bridges so Orangutans can roam between forests freely.”

“We can all help make a huge difference here in the UK by being vigilant when shopping in supermarkets and checking labels to make sure products only contain sustainable palm oil. It’s a small action that will, in time, make a huge difference to their future. Without urgent action they could be the first great apes to go extinct. We just cannot let that happen.”

Continue reading "Mischievous Orangutan Caught on Camera" »


Denver Zoo Celebrates the ‘Sunshine’ of Spring

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Denver Zoo is thrilled to announce their newest critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan.

The lovely female was born March 25 to mom, Nias, and dad, Berani. The new baby has been given the name, Cerah, which means “bright” in Indonesian and is often used to refer to sunshine.

Cerah arrived through a natural and uneventful birth, and keepers report both mom and baby are in good health. They are currently behind-the-scenes to give them time to rest and bond and allow the Zoo’s staff a chance to ensure Cerah is receiving proper care and nourishment from Nias.

Mom, Nias, is 29-years-old and arrived at Denver Zoo in 2005. Berani is 25-years-old and arrived in 2017. The two were paired together under recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® Program, which oversees the population management of select species within AZA member institutions and enhances conservation of those species in the wild. The coupling proved to be a fast success, as Nias and Berani met in July of 2017 and conceived Cerah less than a month later.

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4_Cerah_5Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the world’s most endangered great apes. It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of palm oil plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products, throughout the world, from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

The species currently has a classification of “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

According to the official report by the IUCN: “The most recent population estimate for the Sumatran Orangutan is 13,846 individuals, in a total area of 16,775 km² of forest (Wich et al. 2016). Excluding populations of fewer than 250 individuals (i.e., considering only populations that are potentially viable over the long term) leaves just 13,587 individuals. The vast majority (i.e., 95.0%) occur in the Leuser Ecosystem, while other populations are found in the Sidiangkat and Pakpak. The 2016 estimate is higher than the previous estimate of around 6,600 individuals remaining (Wich et al. 2008), as it takes into account three factors: a) orangutans were found in greater numbers at higher altitudes than previously supposed (i.e., up to 1,500 m asl not just to 1,000 m asl), b) they were found to be more widely distributed in selectively-logged forests than previously assumed, and c) orangutans were found in some previously unsurveyed forest patches. The new estimate does not, therefore, reflect a real increase in Sumatran Orangutan numbers. On the contrary, it reflects only much improved survey techniques and coverage, and hence more accurate data. It is extremely important to note, therefore, that overall numbers continue to decline dramatically.”

(More amazing pics, below the fold!)

Continue reading "Denver Zoo Celebrates the ‘Sunshine’ of Spring" »


Chester Zoo Introduces Early Spring ‘Flower’

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Chester Zoo’s new female Sumatran Orangutan has been named Kesuma, which means ‘flower’ in Indonesia. Primate keepers chose the name soon after they were able to confirm the infant’s sex.

Kesuma was born to her 30-year-old mum, Emma, and 30-year-old dad, Puluh, on December 18, 2017.

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3_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (4)

4_Chester Zoo’s latest orangutan arrival has been named Kesuma by primate keepers (5)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

The birth marked a major success story for an acclaimed international breeding programme for the highly threatened species. Sumatran Orangutans are currently listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with recent estimates suggesting 6,500 remaining in the wild.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said: “Emma’s baby girl, Kesuma, is her fifth youngster, and she’s such a good mum. She’s incredibly attentive, and it’s wonderful to see her and her latest arrival forging close bonds.”

“She’s an incredibly important arrival for the conservation breeding programme and can hopefully throw a spotlight on the huge pressures that her cousins are facing in the wild.”

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the world’s most endangered great apes. It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of oil palm plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products, throughout the world, from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.

Chester Zoo, in the UK, is currently leading a major new campaign to make Chester the world’s first ‘Sustainable Palm Oil City.’ Zoo conservationists are working with restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast food outlets, schools and workplaces in the city to introduce sustainable palm oil policies into their supply chain. The campaign is striving to increase the use of palm oil that is produced sustainably and help to protect the rainforests of South East Asia.

Chester Zoo is currently the only zoo in mainland Britain caring for Sumatran Orangutans.

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Endangered Orangutan Baby Brings In New Year

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo started the new year with the birth of a rare Bornean Orangutan. The endangered, female primate was born in the early morning of January 6 to experienced mother Dee Dee, weighing in at an estimated three pounds.

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4_26240581_10156972070591124_3949510601320895668_oPhoto Credits: Lowry Park Zoo

There are fewer than 100 Bornean Orangutans in 24 AZA-accredited institutions in North America, making this birth very significant for the species and the Tampa community.

Dee Dee is quite the experienced mother, already giving birth four times successfully, and this is father Goyang’s third baby at the Zoo. In October, a human pregnancy test confirmed that Dee Dee was pregnant. The Zoo’s animal care team and veterinary staff worked closely with Dee Dee to voluntarily participate during ultrasounds.

“Dee Dee continues to do well with her female baby. As an experienced mother, she didn’t show any signs of any possible issues. We determined that Dee Dee’s baby had turned during one of her regular ultrasound exams,” said Dr. Ray Ball, VP of Medical Sciences at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “Careful monitoring and pre-natal care are important, but so is privacy. With veterinary medicine, the baby determines the day of birth, but the mom determines the time. With no signs of a high risk pregnancy, we let her take care of the labor naturally - she determined when it would be time to deliver her baby.”

The Zoo is currently home to a group of seven endangered Orangutans and participates in the Bornean Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). The program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) protects wildlife species at risk of extinction. The baby will be the tenth Bornean Orangutan born at the Zoo.

“This is a significant birth for the entire critically endangered Bornean Orangutan population,” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “It’s important to have the community along for this journey. We hope Dee Dee’s story inspires the public to become advocates for this incredible species and learn about the perils they face in the wild.”

Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) can be found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The species is classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN due to critical habitat loss, increased use of palm oil, poaching and pet trade. The population declined more than 50 percent during the last 60 years.

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New Orangutan Baby Is Bright as Sunshine

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A Bornean Orangutan was born on December 5 at Zoo Krefeld, in Germany.

Proud mother, Lea, welcomed the lovely female infant. Because of the baby’s beautiful orange-red coloring, keepers decided to name her Suria, from the Malay (Sanskrit) word for “sun”.

Suria is the third infant born to Lea, and her older brother, Changi, has embraced the presence of his new sibling.

Although Suria is beginning to explore her exhibit, she still prefers to cling to the safety of her mother, as can be seen in these amazing images captured by photographer, Arjan Haverkamp.

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4_34126394090_f419fe381a_kPhoto Credits: Arjan Haverkamp

The Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is a species of Orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. Like other great apes, Orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying advanced tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild.

The Bornean Orangutan is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, with deforestation, palm oil plantations and hunting posing a serious threat to its continued existence.

The total number of Bornean Orangutans is estimated to be less than 14% of what it was in the recent past. This sharp decline has occurred mostly over the past few decades due to human activities and development.

Species distribution is now highly patchy throughout Borneo; it is apparently absent or uncommon in the southeast of the island, as well as in the forests between the Rejang River in central Sarawak and the Padas River in western Sabah (including the Sultanate of Brunei). A population of around 6,900 is found in Sabangau National Park, but this environment is at risk.

According to Harvard University anthropologist, Cheryl Knott, in 10 to 20 years, Orangutans are expected to be extinct in the wild if no serious effort is made to overcome the threats they are facing.


Orangutan Mom Welcomes First Born Son

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A beautiful male Sumatran Orangutan was born at Basel Zoo on March 4 and has been given the name ‘Ombak’. Ombak is a Malay word that means ‘wave’ or ‘surge’.

According to keepers, the infant’s 17-year-old mother, Kila, has become a very caring parent since the birth of her child. Ombak is Kila’s first child, but the role of mother is not a new one to her: her mother died when she was nine years old and Kila “adopted” her then two-year-old sister Maia (10), who now also lives at Basel Zoo.

Kila currently shares her enclosure with male Orangutan Bagus (15), who is showing a friendly interest but maintaining a respectful distance from her and her child. Kila has also been isolating herself in confusing situations, such as when the enclosure is being cleaned. Whether or not Bagus is Ombak’s father remains unclear: other candidates are Vendel (17) and Budi (13).

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4_orang_utan_kila_mit_jungtier_ombag_ZO55304Photo Credits: Basel Zoo

Kila arrived at Basel Zoo from Leipzig in 2012. When she first arrived at the Zoo, keepers recall she was a “little minx: nothing could frighten her and she was always the first to try out something new”. However, as soon as her new son, Ombak, was born her temper changed completely. She is now extremely cautious when she heads out into the outdoor enclosure, and her forays are only very short. She has also become a picky eater, whereas before she ate absolutely everything that was put in front of her. Despite her reticence, Kila likes to show her baby off to the Zookeepers. She even lets Zoo vets take a closer look at Ombak, but only if she is given a reward.

Baby Ombak is still entirely dependent on his mother and clings steadfastly to her fur. This clinging reflex is vital to the survival of newborn Orangutans. In the wild, Orangutans move about high up in the tops of tropical rainforests, and mothers need their hands to climb.

Orangutans are loners, so juveniles cannot learn from other members of the group, as Chimpanzees or Gorillas do. Their mothers are their only source of knowledge. Ombak will be reliant on, and suckled by, his mother for six to seven years, and only after this period is over can Kila become pregnant again. This is one of the longest gaps between births of all mammal species.

Ombak and Kila live with Vendel, Revital (17), Ketawa (4), Budi, Bagus and Maia who all came to Basel in 2012 as new arrivals after the renovation of the Zoo’s monkey house (except for Ketawa who was born at Basel Zoo).

Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii) are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. The species is already extinct in many regions of Sumatra. There are currently just 14,000 individual animals still living in the forests to the north of the island.

Basel Zoo supports an Orangutan conservation project in Borneo with 40,000 US dollars a year. The Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme aims to maintain the last rainforest areas in northeastern Malaysia. The diverse flora and fauna should be protected, including the Orangutans. The project integrates the local population’s interests into its nature and species conservation activities. Basel Zoo has supported the project since 2010.

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