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Newborn Orangutan Doing Well With Keepers' Help

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On Thursday, May 19 at approximately 6:30 a.m. Sedgwick County Zoo welcomed a baby Orangutan into the world. Baby is doing fine while mom, Daisy, is recovering nicely. However, she hasn’t shown much interest in being a mom or caring for her newborn. Zookeepers worked with Daisy to encourage an early bond with the newborn and continue working with her on maternal care behaviors. Daisy and the newborn Orangutan remain off exhibit so keepers can work with Daisy and care for the infant.

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Photo credits: Sedgwick County Zoo

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Daisy arrived at Sedgwick County Zoo in 2009 and at age 29 this is her second birth. “Daisy was hand-raised and according to our records she has not lived with a female orangutan that has given birth and then cared for the baby. So, she’s a little intimidated,” said Zookeeper Devin Bailey. “When she didn’t know what to do after her first birth, the infant was given to a surrogate orangutan female who lived with Daisy. So, she might think this is perfectly fine.”

Being hand-raised might make the infant more people-oriented like his mother. Zookeepers want to make sure that this infant orangutan knows he’s an orangutan. Zookeepers are providing for the physical and psychological well-being of the orangutan instead of mom, for now. However, keepers are still working on maternal care behaviors with Daisy and are thinking positive. “We believe we’re on the right track and hope that Daisy might show more interest in taking on some of her infant care responsibilities,” Bailey said. Daisy is showing some progress. She’s interested. She’s not mean. But she’s just not sure if she should pick up this new arrival.

This is only the second orangutan born at Sedgwick County Zoo. Panji, the proud father, was born here in 1995. Tia, Panji’s mother, is the second oldest orangutan on record at age 54 and now the grandma in the bunch.

Daisy and the infant orangutan are off exhibit so keepers can work with Daisy and care for the infant. Guests can see Panji and Tia daily.

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