What 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.
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.