Orangutans Sekali and Budi Are Expecting

TORONTO, ON, Thursday, October 7, 2021: Twenty-nine-year-old Sumatran orangutan Sekali is going to be a mother again! She and father-to-be Budi (a fifteen-year-old male Sumatran orangutan) were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), and the Toronto Zoo is thrilled to further contribute to the future of this critically endangered species. Sekali has had one previous offspring (male Kembali, who still lives at the Toronto Zoo); Budi is a first-time father.

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Drama Surrounds The Birth of an Endangered Orangutan at The Zoological Center Ramat Gan

At last we can see her! About two weeks ago (July 10th) Tana, a 12-year-old Sumatran Orangutan at The Zoological Center Ramat Gan in Israel gave birth to a sweet little baby.


For many days it was almost impossible to see the baby, as mom held her close to her body and she "disappeared" in her long ginger fur.

Now as the baby is a bit bigger and mom more confident, we can get a glimpse of the adorable baby. Now mother and baby enjoy some peace and quiet while keepers keep a close eye.

The baby's father is male Rachamim, who will be celebrating its 11th birthday on July 31st. He is the last Orangutan born here at the zoo to his elderly parents Rochale and Mushon.  His mother died when he was only 7 year old.

Soon after, Satu and Tana, two females, arrived from zoos in Germany to join Mushon and Rachamim at Ramat Gan to continue contributing to the Sumatran Orangutan breeding program.

Mushon did not manage to breed with the two. It may have been that he was too old. He died in 2018 at the age of 50.

As Rachamim grew older he got closer with Tana and finally we can see the sweet results of the bond between the two.

Tana is taking good care of her baby despite the fact that this is her first birth and she lacks experience. She is reluctant to get into her night chamber so the keepers throw food and water bottles for her into the exhibit. Both mother and baby look good and healthy.

During Tana's pregnancy we at the zoo experienced two major dramas:

During the last missile attacks Israel endured in May, a missile landed in the Zoo. Luckily it fell between the Orangutan exhibit and the Sulawesi Crested Macaques. One female Macaque was hit by a shrapnel in her back. She was hurried to the operation room and thankfully fully recovered. The exhibits however were damaged by the missile and had to be renovated. This month the Orangutan exhibit re-opened. That’s when the second drama took place. Tana and Mushon were very curious about the new plants in the exhibit and managed to climb and go out of the exhibit. Mushon went in when called, but Tana went up a tree with the baby. The vets were lifted to the tree top with firefighters’ assistance and managed to dart Tana and take her off the tree, back to the night chambers with the baby. That is also how the Zoo knows that the baby is a girl.

After such eventful times Ramat Gan officials are happy to see the mother and baby relaxing in the exhibit. We are delighted for this important addition to the European breeding program, as the critically endangered Orangutans really need our help!   

The baby girl still does not have a name. According to tradition, her name should start with the letter T. any ideas?

Video Credit: Yam Siton

Patients at Children’s Hospital New Orleans Name Audubon Zoo’s Infant Orangutan

The patients at Children’s Hospital New Orleans have spoken, and the votes are in. The female Sumatran orangutan infant born in February at Audubon Zoo has affectionately been named “Madu,” which means honey in Malay.

Audubon Zoo partnered with Children’s Hospital to name the newest member of its orangutan group. Staff and patients at the hospital voted for their favorite of a list of three names.  

The three names included:  

Madu - Malay word for honey 

Bani – Indonesian word meaning “children” 

Matahari - Malay word meaning sun 

Children from the hospital exuberantly unveiled the winning name yesterday morning in a celebration at the Zoo. The event took place directly in front of the Sumatran orangutan habitat, so the orangutan group, including the infant and her mother, Reese, attended.  

“Our patients had so much fun being invited to help name Audubon’s baby orangutan,” said President and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans John R. Nickens IV. “Working together with our partners at Audubon, we love being able to bring enrichment opportunities to our patients at the hospital. This is a great example of finding creative ways to work together to deliver a little something extra for our patients and families. We’re so excited to watch the baby grow and thrive for many years to come.”

This infant is Reese’s first offspring and the second infant born at Audubon Zoo to dad Jambi since his arrival from Hanover Zoo in German in 2018. Jambi also fathered Bulan, the female born to orangutan matriarch Feliz in 2019.  

“We were thrilled to have our long-time partners Children’s Hospital New Orleans help us make this big decision,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “Throughout this last year, they have offered immense support that has been essential to the recovery of our attractions.” 

Audubon is committed to helping create experiences that spark action and empower visitors to impact the natural world for the better. The orangutan group at the Zoo serves as ambassadors for their species, teaching guests about the plight of Sumatran orangutans in the wild due to human-wildlife conflict.

Maintaining a genetically diverse population in human care is important because Sumatran orangutans have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “critically endangered” and therefore threatened with extinction—there are fewer than 14,000 living in the wild, and their numbers are declining, mainly due to human-wildlife conflict due to the spread of palm oil plantations into their forest habitat. 

There are currently 95 Sumatran orangutans in human care across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums organizations. 

To help orangutans in the wild, Audubon recommends purchasing products with sustainably grown palm oil. Around the world, those using sustainable practices in logging and agriculture are demonstrating that it is possible to conserve wildlife habitat while supporting the local economy.

Orangutan Dad Steps Up After His Mate's Death

You are witnessing the unusual bond between a 3-year-old Sumatran Orangutan (Cerah) and her father, Berani at Denver Zoo.


After Cerah’s mom and Berani’s mate Nias passed away suddenly from fatal heartcomplications, Berani stepped in as the most doting parent.

In the wild, male orangutans are not known to be involved in the raising of offspring at all. 

​Berani has always been an exception to the typical role of a male orangutan.

Well before Nias' (the mother) death, Berani was known for treating Hesty, Nias' first daughter, like his own offspring.

Hesty is not Berani's biological daughter, but he always treated her as such.

So it's no surprise now that he's stepped in to take care of Cerah. 

Since Nias’ December death, Berani continues to be a source of comfort for Cerah.

The whole troop is doing well, and 11-year-old Hesty, who is only a few years away from being able to start having her own children, is doing a good job playing with Cerah throughout the day.

Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan Born at Audubon Zoo

Early this morning, animal care staff at Audubon Zoo were welcomed by the arrival of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant. Although early signs and physical changes pointed to an anticipated birth window between April and May, those signs appeared later than normal and the birth happened earlier than expected. 


Mother and the infant appear to be doing well and are behind-the-scenes to give them time to bond and to allow the Zoo’s veterinary and primate team to care for them. Staff are monitoring the infant’s health closely for any signs of weakness or dehydration. The next 48 hours are critical as the newborn learns to nurse. 

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Pairi Daiza Welcomes Birth of an Infant Orangutan

The Belgian animal park of Pairi Daiza – voted best zoo of Europe for three years in a row - is happy to announce the birth of a Sumatran orangutan in its orangutan conservancy. The little boy, named Mathaï by his keepers, is the newest member of our orangutan family, that consists of dad Ujian, mom Sari and big brother Berani. With another adult couple of two (Gempa and Sinta, also expecting a baby), Pairi Daiza now houses six of these critically endangered great apes. Orangutans are facing mass extinction in the wild because of deforestation. Only 14.000 of these unique, intelligent animals remain alive today. Pairi Daiza wishes to offer a new future to these apes, with whom we share 97% of our human DNA. We do this by reinforcing and conserving the genetic capital of orangutans in our conservancy in Belgium, but also by funding reforestation projects in the orangutans’ home country: Indonesia. Last year, Pairi Daiza Foundation has funded over 11.000 new trees on the island of Borneo.

Photo Mathaï 10
Photo Mathaï 10
Photo Mathaï 10


Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan Born at Prague Zoo

A young Sumatran orangutan was born on Tuesday, November 17 - only the third in the history of the Prague Zoo! They don't know the sex of the baby yet, but the good news is that mom Mawar feeds and takes good care of her infant regularly. Aside from Father Pagy, the newborn baby is the only descendant of orangutans who came to the zoo from the forests of Sumatra.  The child is therefore genetically extremely valuable to the conservation of the species.

Video: Miroslav Bobek

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Critically endangered orangutan born at Chester Zoo


Chester Zoo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Bornean orangutan.

The new baby took keepers by surprise as mum Leia had been given a pregnancy test just months before, which came back negative. Orangutans are typically pregnant for 259 days (eight and a half months).

Keepers say the new arrival is ‘bright and alert’ and is suckling well from mum, who is incredibly protective of her new baby.

Bornean orangutans are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered in the wild.

Threatened by illegal hunting, habitat destruction and the conversion of their forest to palm oil plantations, the species has been pushed to the very brink of existence. Recent estimates suggest as few as 55,000 Bornean orangutans may remain on the island of Borneo in Indonesia - the only place they can be found in the wild. With this huge decline in the population, the group of orangutans at Chester Zoo are part of a vital international breeding programme which is working to conserve the species.

Chris Yarwood, a primate keeper at the zoo, said:

“The pregnancy tests we had carried out on Leia in the months prior to the birth had actually returned negative results. It was therefore a wonderful surprise to arrive one morning to see her protectively cradling a beautiful new arrival.

“Leia enjoys spending lots of time alone with her baby and has so far been quite shy about showing it off. She always keeps it really close to her and so we’ve not yet been able to clearly determine what the gender of the infant is. What we are sure of though is that the baby is bright, alert and suckling well from mum and has developed well over the last couple of months. This is Leia’s second baby - she’s a great mum and is doing a fab job once again.

“Chester is one of the few zoos in Europe that cares for both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans. These are critically endangered animals and, importantly, we’ve seen babies from both sub-species born in recent times. It just goes to show that, despite all of the uncertainty in the world right now, life is carrying on as normal for the orangutans, which is really uplifting to see.”

Dr Nick Davis, the zoo’s Deputy Curator of Mammals, added:

“Bornean orangutans are the largest arboreal mammals in the world and how fast their numbers are plummeting is frightening. They are victims of illegal hunting and habitat loss and are highly threatened by the unsustainable oil palm industry, which is having a devastating effect on the forests where they live.

“These magnificent animals are being pushed to the very edge of existence and it really could be the case that we soon lose them forever. It’s absolutely vital therefore that there’s a sustainable population of Bornean orangutans in the world’s progressive zoos - every addition to the European endangered species breeding programme is so, so important.”

Chester Zoo is working with conservation partners HUTAN in a bid to protect wild orangutans in Borneo. Conservationists have been carrying out research in the Kinabatangan - home to one of the largest populations of orangutans in the Sabah region of the island - to gain a better understanding of how orangutans are adapting to an increase in oil palm plantations and the new landscapes which they have created.

A team of zoo experts has also helped to create special ‘orangutan bridges’ – designed to connect pockets of fragmented forest and enable orangutans to safely travel between different areas. Elsewhere, the zoo is working on environmental education programmes, which teach communities surrounding the forests about how they can help save the species and has also supported local NGO, the Borneo Nature Foundation, in tackling forest fires to help protect the Bornean orangutans’ habitat.
Dr Davis continued:

“There’s still a huge need to tackle the excessive deforestation in Borneo and show people everywhere that they can make a difference to the long-term survival of orangutans. We really hope that Leia’s new baby helps to further highlight how simple everyday choices, like choosing products which contain only sustainably sourced palm oil, can have a massive impact on the future of these remarkable animals.”

Here in the UK, Chester Zoo is campaigning against the use of unsustainable palm oil in everyday household and food items, working with national governmental organisations and industries using palm oil to adopt Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) practices and raise awareness of the devastating effects unsustainable palm oil has on wildlife. Visit www.actforwildlife.org.uk/orangutans to join the fight for orangutans.

Mother Orangutan Dotes On Baby Móric at Budapest Zoo


Visitors to the Budapest Zoo Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert are daily treated to the most moving moments as mother Lia dotes on her month-old infant Móric. Móric was born in early August. Other orangutan family members also appear in this short clip. For a few moments, even three-year-old gorilla Indigo, who lives next door, is seen observing their dynamics with curiosity.

Sedgwick County Zoo Celebrates Lovely New Flower


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.



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!)

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