Orangutan

KCZoo Announces Names of Two Young Apes

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The Kansas City Zoo is proud to announce the names chosen for their adorable baby Orangutan and baby Chimpanzee, born earlier this year.

On May 23, a male Bornean Orangutan was born at the Zoo. First-time mom Josie has strong motherly instincts and has been taking great care of the little guy since his birth! Keepers say Josie’s mom, Jill, who is also at the KCZoo, taught her everything she knows about being a mom. Orangutan youngsters have long intense relationships with their mothers, so Josie will spend the next several years showing him vital Orangutan skills like how to build nests, where to find food, how to interact with others and how to use tools to forage.

A generous private donor has been given the opportunity and named this youngster “Dusty.” You can see his handsome little face along with Josie, Grandma Jill and Kali at the Zoo’s “Orangutan Canopy”.

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4_13392036_10153402920856377_378451210979909069_oPhoto Credits: Kansas City Zoo

A female Chimpanzee, at the Zoo, was born to mom Teeoni on April 1. But just days after her birth, her mother was no longer caring for her. In the best interest of the infant, Zookeepers began the challenging work of hand-raising her, providing her with round the clock care. Keepers are proud to say this three-month-old is now thriving! Always in close contact to the rest of the Chimpanzee troop, keepers are working with other potential surrogate moms for the baby when she is big enough to rejoin the group.

A longtime supporter of the Zoo has chosen a meaningful name for this little girl that symbolizes the hard work and dedication the keeper staff has put forth to raise her in the absence of her mother. She has been named “Ruw” (RUE) which is short for Ruwenzori, the nickname of the Zookeeper team that cares for Kansas City Zoo’s Chimpanzee troop.

The Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is a species native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia. Like the 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.

Chimpanzees (sometimes called chimps) are one of two exclusively African species of great ape that are currently extant. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, both are currently found in the Congo jungle. Classified in the genus Pan, they were once considered to be one species. However, since 1928, they have been recognized as two distinct species: the Common Chimpanzee (P. troglodytes) live north of the Congo River and the Bonobo (P. paniscus) who live south. In addition, P. troglodytes is divided into four subspecies, while P. paniscus has none. The most obvious differences are that Chimpanzees are somewhat larger, more aggressive and male dominated, while the Bonobos are more gracile, peaceful, and female dominated.

Their hair is typically black or brown. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Both Chimps and Bonobos are some of the most social great apes, with social bonds occurring among individuals in large communities. Fruit is the most important component of a Chimpanzee's diet. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.

The Kansas City Zoo allows patrons to participate in the care of their animals. Zoo fans can adopt them through the “Adopt A Wild Child Program”. Find out more on the Zoo’s website: http://www.kansascityzoo.org/aawc .

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New Little ‘Dear’ for the Indianapolis Zoo

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The Indianapolis Zoo excitedly announced the first Orangutan birth for the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. The female Sumatran Orangutan was born March 23 to mom Sirih.

Sirih gave birth in a behind-the-scenes area. The other resident Orangutans at the Center watched the entire birth very intently and were quiet and curious during and after the delivery.

“This baby Orangutan gives us special reason to be joyful,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, Executive Vice President and Zoo director. “We are thrilled for the many visitors who will care more deeply for Orangutans and their conservation by watching the baby grow, learn and thrive. Sumatran Orangutans are critically endangered in the wild with only thousands left.”

The Zoo recently held a naming contest, via Facebook, and the winning name for the new girl is “Mila” (MEE-lah)! Mila means “dear one” in Indonesian.

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3_13131090_10154853724712576_8102568991043503813_oPhoto Credit: Vicki Townsend

The baby is the second for 23-year-old mother Sirih, who arrived at the Indianpolis Zoo last year from the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany. Both mom and infant are doing great. Sirih is a caring and attentive mother, doing everything an Orangutan should do. She keeps her daughter close and guests are able to see Mila hold on tightly to mom as she climbs around the Orangutan Center. Father, 14-year-old Basan, has also been introduced to the baby, as have most of the Orangutans in the center.

Sirih and first-time father, Basan, were recommended as a breeding pair through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, a program ensuring a sustainable, genetically diverse and demographically varied AZA population.

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the two species of orangutans. They are found only on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, and are more rare than the Bornean Orangutan. Males grow to about 200 lbs. (90 kg), and females can weigh about 99 lbs. (45 kg). Compared to the Bornean species, they are thinner and have longer faces, and their hair is longer with a paler red color.

The Sumatran species also tends to be more frugivorous and especially insectivorous. Their preferred fruits include figs and jackfruits.

Female Orangutans reach sexual maturity at around 5 years of age and have a 22 to 30-day menstrual cycle. Females generally give birth to their first offspring at around 14 years of age, and they have a gestation period of about 9 months. There are usually eight years between pregnancies. Females do most of the caring and socializing of the young.

Sumatran Orangutans are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It’s estimated that less than 6,500 Sumatran Orangutans now remain in the wild, as a result of destruction of habitat for logging, wholesale conversion of forest to palm oil plantations, and fragmentation caused by roads and hunting.


Roses Are Red…and This Endangered Baby Is Too!

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A highly endangered baby Sumatran Orangutan was born via Cesarean section at the Memphis Zoo on March 19, 2016. The new male is doing well and is being reared by his mother, Jahe (Jah-hay).

To celebrate the excitement of the new addition, the Zoo recently hosted a naming contest via the Zoo’s website, and the winning name is… Rowan (“little red one”)!

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4_DSC_3817Photo Credits: Memphis Zoo

C-sections on Orangutans are rare, with only 18 of the 2,224 births in the International Orangutan Studbook being performed in this manner. Of these, Jahe and baby Rowan will be the ninth pair to survive the C-section birth.

This is the first Sumatran Orangutan birth at the Memphis Zoo since 2004, and to ensure the best possible care for the mother, a human obstetrician, Dr. Joseph C. DeWane, performed the C-section, with assistance from the veterinarian and animal care staff of the Memphis Zoo. At birth, Rowan weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces, which is large for a baby of this species.

"I was honored to be a part of this historic event at the Memphis Zoo,” said Dr. DeWane. “Our community is so blessed to have one of the top five zoos in the country. I know every time I visit the zoo, I will make a special trip to see Jahe and her baby.”     

Due to the mother’s surgery, the Memphis Zoo animal and veterinarian staff hand-reared the baby while Jahe recovered. Staff held and fed the infant around the clock, and spent their daytime hours in the Orangutan building with Jahe, where she could have visual access to baby Rowan. Jahe’s interest in the baby was encouraged and reinforced, and she was allowed to touch and examine him through the mesh as often as she liked while the keepers held him.

After 12 days, Jahe’s incision had healed well, and animal care staff orchestrated an introduction. Jahe immediately picked up the baby, and despite being a first-time mother, held him appropriately and inspected him closely. Animal care staff monitored the twosome around the clock for several days and noted successful nursing within 24 hours. The pair has been inseparable since.

The Memphis Zoo is one of only two institutions that have reintroduced mother and baby less than two weeks after the surgery.

“The baby’s upbringing was only unique in the first couple of weeks. We had to step in temporarily to hand-rear in order to allow Jahe to recover from her surgery,” said Courtney Janney, Curator of Large Mammals. “Once we were sure she was comfortable and healing well, we reintroduced the baby to his mother and she has completely taken over.”

This infant is the first for mother, Jahe, and third for father, Tombak. Jahe (18-years-old) arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2010. Her name means “ginger” in the Indonesian language. Tombak (33-years-old) arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 1994. His name is derived from a Javanese word meaning “copper.”

This is a significant birth for the Memphis Zoo, and for the greater Sumatran Orangutan population, as only about 200 Sumatran Orangutans are currently on exhibit across the country. The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List.

“With just a few thousand of these animals left in wild, this is a momentous occasion,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “I’m very proud of our animal care team that intervened and saved the lives of both mother and baby. This is truly an event to celebrate!”

Mother and baby are currently resting behind-the-scenes. The new addition is not yet on exhibit.

The Memphis Zoo currently has four Sumatran Orangutans. In addition to Rowan, Jahe, and Tombak, the Zoo also has Chickie, a 38-year-old female. Chickie is named after former U.S. Surgeon General, Charles “Chick” Everett Koop, who operated on her shortly after her birth. Orangutans have been housed at the Memphis Zoo since 1960, with the first Sumatran Orangutan arrival in 1974.

Jahe arrived at the Memphis Zoo from the Toronto Zoo, where she was born. Her mother, named Puppe, still lives at the Toronto Zoo, and was a wild-caught animal. This makes Jahe a genetically valuable animal.

Tombak is also the father of Elok and Indah, two previous offspring who were born in 2004. However, they both had to be hand-reared, and were later sent to the Houston Zoo.

The name Orangutan means “man of the forest;” they are the largest tree-dwelling animal in the world. Because of their arboreal nature, their arm span can reach 7 feet from fingertip to fingertip. There are two subspecies of Orangutans: Sumatran and Bornean. Orangutans have the second longest childhood, first being humans, spending up to eight ears with their mothers and nursing up to 6 years of age.

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

More adorable pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Roses Are Red…and This Endangered Baby Is Too!" »


Baby Makes Three Generations of Orangutans in Tampa

Bornean orang hadiah and topi 3 feb 20 2016Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is celebrating three generations of Bornean Orangutans after the birth of two infants in just two months.

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Bornean orang hadiah and topi 4 feb 20 2016
Bornean orang josie and gojo feb 22 2016Photo Credit:  Dave Parkinson/Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Thirty-year-old Josie gave birth to GoJo, a male, in December.  Then Josie’s daughter Hadiah delivered her very first baby, a female named Topi, on February 17 to make three generations of these endangered apes at the zoo. 

In the photos seen here, two-month-old GoJo displays his upright hairdo while Topi snuggles close to her mom. 

“We are very fortunate that Hadiah was able to observe her mother’s labor and delivery just two months before her own experience,” said Angela Belcher, animal care manager for primates.  “As a first time mother, it took her some time to learn how to properly handle the infant, but much progress has been made in the last few days and she has the benefit of a great role model.”

Topi spends her days being cradled or carried by Hadiah, and is totally dependent on her mother for care.  For several months Topi will nurse exclusively, then will be gradually introduced to solid foods.  Orangutans have the longest childhood of any animal other than humans:  Offspring stay with their mothers for six to eight years.

Bornean Orangutans are one of two Orangutan subspecies (the other is the Sumatran Orangutan), and all Orangutans are endangered.   About 50,000 Bornean Orangutans remain in the wilds of Malaysia and Borneo; only about 6,000 Sumatran Orangutans remain on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  Both subspecies are threatened by human activities, especially the conversion of forest habitats to palm oil plantations.  In 2015, raging fires intentionally set to burn Bornean land before plantation development had devastating effects on the forests – more than 2 million hectares (nearly 5 million acres) were burned. In addition, poaching and the pet-trade remain major threats to Orangutans across most of Borneo.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo participates in the Bornean Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) designed to maximize genetic diversity in zoo-dwelling populations of rare animals.  Nine Bornean Orangutan have been  born at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, and there are fewer than 100 Bornean Orangutans in 24 AZA-accredited institutions in North America.

See more photos of the babies below.

Continue reading "Baby Makes Three Generations of Orangutans in Tampa" »


Challenging Delivery for Bornean Orangutan Mom

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With Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo veterinary and primate animal care teams standing by; a precious Christmas gift came early. Josie, a 30-year-old Bornean Orangutan, gave birth to a male offspring on December 21. Although this was the fourth baby for an experienced mother, the offspring was born in the breech position creating a challenging labor and delivery.

“Josie did an amazing job with the delivery under difficult circumstances, and she cleared the baby’s airway herself immediately after birth,” said Dr. Ray Ball, director of medical sciences. “Along with our team, Josie’s 10-year-old daughter, Hadiah, observed the entire labor and delivery, which will be a very important experience for her when she becomes a mother.”

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4_primates orang josie gojo 1 dec 26 2015 by Dave ParkinsonPhoto Credits: Images 1,3: Zootastic/Lowry Park Zoo ; Images 2, 4-6: Dave Parkinson/Lowry Park Zoo

With the newborn, the Zoo is currently home to a group of six Orangutans: adult male Goyang who sired the infant, Josie and baby, Josie’s older daughter Hadiah, adult female Dee Dee, and her juvenile daughter RanDee. The new baby has been named “GoJo,” a blend of his parents’ names.

Born with a thin layer of red hair and cream-colored skin around his face and abdominal region, the infant (estimated at 2-3 pounds at birth) spends his days resting, nursing and snuggling with mom. New babies will ride on their mother’s chest and back for the first few years and will nurse for three to five years, on average. Orangutan offspring are dependent on their mothers for about seven years. As one of the world's largest primates, the Orangutan is second only to the Gorilla in size.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo participates in the Bornean Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) designed to support the conservation of select wildlife species at risk of extinction. The male baby is eighth Bornean Orangutan born at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. There are fewer than 100 Bornean Orangutans in 24 AZA-accredited institutions in North America.

Continue reading "Challenging Delivery for Bornean Orangutan Mom " »


New Name for a New Orangutan at Chester Zoo

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A six-week-old female Sumatran Orangutan, named Siska (born September 3 to mum, Subis), was given her new moniker after staff at Chester Zoo confirmed her gender.

Siska shares her name with a specialist Orangutan vet, from Indonesia, who first spotted the new baby clinging to her mum on the morning she was born. Vet, Siska Sulistyo, who normally works in sanctuaries in South East Asia, has spent three months in Chester, UK, working alongside the zoo’s resident veterinary team, as part of an initiative to exchange knowledge and skills.

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4_Baby orangutan Siska with mum Subis at Chester Zoo (2)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Chris Yarwood, Lead Keeper at Chester Zoo, said, “Siska has been named after an Indonesian vet who is spending some time working with our animal health teams here at the zoo. She was the very first person to spot our new arrival the morning she was born, so we thought it was a fitting name particularly given the vital conservation work that her team carry out in South East Asia with a range of endangered species. 

“Sumatran Orangutans are being pushed dangerously close to extinction every day and, as it stands, they are one of the world’s most endangered species.

“Siska is a very special addition to both the zoo and the European-wide breeding programme, which aims to have a healthy safety-net population of the species in case the worst should happen--extinction in the wild.”

Continue reading "New Name for a New Orangutan at Chester Zoo" »


Two Baby Orangutans Born Just Weeks Apart

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Two Bornean Orangutan babies were born just three weeks apart at France’s La Palmyre Zoo.  The two little ones are important additions to the zoo breeding program designed to help save this endangered species.

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Photo Credit:  F. Perroux/Zoo de la Palmyre
 

During the night of August 15, 18-year old Katja gave birth to a male named Hutan after a gestation period of 7.5 months. Because this was Katja’s first baby, zoo keepers were concerned that her lack of experience could cause Katja to improperly care for her baby.  But Katja was mother-reared (as opposed to being hand-reared by humans) and observed many babies being raised in her family group, two factors that contribute to proper infant care.  So far Katja is taking good care of Hutan and exhibits strong maternal skills. 

Three weeks later, 39-year-old Tiba gave birth to her fifth baby, a female named Nanga. Tiba is an experienced mother. However, a few days after the birth, Tiba had to treated for an infection, which raised some concerns for her infant.  Fortunately, the treatment was successful Tiba is now doing much better.

These infants are the zoo’s first since 2002 and are the result of a new male Orangutan named Barito, who arrived in 2014 to replace the resident male, who was unable to produce offspring.

Katja and Tiba are together but remain isolated from the rest of the group so they can build strong bonds with their babies. Orangutans have the longest childhood of any animal except humans – babies remain with their mothers for 8-12 years.  Orangutans can live for more than 50 years.

Wild Bornean Orangutans face serious threats in the wild as rain forests are replaced by large palm oil plantations.  Found only on the island of Borneo, these apes are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to massive habitat destruction. 

La Palmyre Zoo supports the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project in Sabah, Borneo.  Only 20% of Sabah's Orangutans live in protected areas, so there's an urgent need to conserve the remaining 80% who live in plantations, commercial forests or unallocated lands. This conservation work includes reconnecting isolated forest fragments through land acquisition, creation of corridors, and construction of artificial bridges; minimizing human/animal conflicts; and collaborating with forest loggers and plantation operators in order to promote a sustainable oil palm industry.

See more photos of the baby Orangutans below.

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Orangutan at Henry Vilas Zoo Reaches Milestone

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The baby Bornean Orangutan, at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, has reached an important milestone in her growth and development. She recently turned 100 days old!

Henry Vilas Zoo excitedly announced the infant’s birth on April 9.  The healthy female was born to first-time parents Kawan and Datu, and she was named Keju (‘kay-joo’), Malay for “cheese”.

“We are excited to have Keju as part of our zoo family,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “No matter where she goes in life, her name is a reminder that she is a true Wisconsinite. We take great pride in the work we do to protect endangered species.” 

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4_Infant Bornean orangutan Keju_April 2015_Photo credit Henry Vilas ZooPhoto Credits: Beth Petersen/Henry Vilas Zoo (Image 1); Henry Vilas Zoo (Images 2-6)

Keju is important to the national effort to maintain a population of this endangered species, through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). Orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are the only great ape found in Asia. Bornean Orangutans are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and Sumatran Orangutans are considered “Critically Endangered”, with less than 6,000 individuals left in Sumatra.

Continue reading "Orangutan at Henry Vilas Zoo Reaches Milestone" »


Baby Orangutan Climbs and Explores at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Baby Asmara Climbing 7What does a six-month-old Sumatran Orangutan like to do?  Climb, explore, and climb some more!

Asmara the Sumatran Orangutan was born at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo on November 22, 2014, one of only two babies of this critically endangered species to be born in a United States zoo in 2014.  

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Baby Asmara learning to climbPhoto Credit:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

You first met Asmara on ZooBorns when she was four months old and still clinging tightly to her mother, Tara.  Asmara first started climbing at about five months old, using small ropes that keepers hung close to the ground.  Now, Tara carries her baby high into the trees within the exhibit and lets her little one explore.  Asmara grips the vines with both hands and both feet, sometimes unsure of what she should do next.  Mom is always close by to rescue the little ape when she gets herself in a fix.

It’s easy to see that Orangutans are specially adapted for life in the treetops.  With thumb-like big toes, these apes can grasp branches with ease.

Sumatran Orangutans are native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and are found nowhere else in the wild.  Because their rain forest habitat is being destroyed, often for the illegal construction of palm oil plantations, Sumatran Orangutans are confined to small fragments of forest.  They are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Only about 7,000 remain in the wild. 

See more photos of Asmara below the fold.

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Baby Orangutan Hangs on Tight

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Asmara, a 16-week old Sumatran Orangutan at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, went into her exhibit for the first time last week. Until now, Asmara and her mother, Tara, have been living in an off-exhibit bedroom adjacent to the main exhibit.

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Photo Credit:  Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

On their first day in the exhibit, Asmara clung tightly to her mother as Tara explored high up in the trees.  Zoo keeper Angie Selzer watched nervously, but all went well. "Tara climbed very high right away, but Asmara clung tightly just like she would in the wild," she said.

Prior to the big day, the exhibit underwent extensive baby-proofing.  Zoo keepers covered the floor with soft straw and checked the trees, walls, and vines for potential safety issues.  The City of Fort Wayne's tree crews even got involved, helping to reinforce the vines and hammocks.

Born on November 22 to Tara and her mate, Tengku, Asmara is important to the future of Sumatran Orangutans, which are Critically Endangered.  About 320 Sumatran Orangutans live in zoos worldwide, and an average of 15 babies are born each year in the world’s zoos. In the wild, these red-furred apes are found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, where the population is in drastic decline due to illegal hunting and the destruction of their forest homes to build palm oil plantations.

Fewer than 7,000 Sumatran Orangutans remain in the wild. Some experts predict Orangutans could become extinct in the wild within a few decades if circumstances remain unchanged.