This little Bornean Orangutan, born six weeks ago, made her debut to the public late last week when mom Jazz brought her into the viewing area of the great ape house at Dudley Zoological Gardens. Jazz held her tiny baby close in her arms and could be seen patting Sprout's back as visitors looked on.
Sprout had been nurtured in a quiet, private area since her birth - until Thursday. Keeper David Zebedee said of Jazz, ”She’s now doing the proud mum bit and showing Sprout to visitors."
Sprout weighs approximately four pounds (1.81 kilos), but she’s growing fast. Once weaned (at approximately eight to 12 months), she can begin to add solids to her diet along with mothers milk, which she'll continue until she's three.
Photo Credit courtesy of Dudley Zoological Gardens
David added, “She’s a beautiful baby, and very special too, as the species is so endangered in the wild.” Bornean orangutans only give birth every eight years, adding to the species endangerment caused by the pet trade and habitat loss due to logging and the palm oil business. Not long ago it was thought there was only one species of orangutan, but genetic research found that there are two - Bornean and Sumatran. Both live in Southeast Asia.