Your Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth of Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan!
April 11, 2022
Your Toronto Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, born Friday April 8 at 3:06 p.m. to mother Sekali. The day prior to the birth, Sekali was exhibiting signs of restlessness and discomfort. Keepers monitored her closely overnight and although she seemed to settle down and looked comfortable, it was noted that her eyes were open for a much larger portion of the night than usual. The morning of April 8, keepers noticed Sekali was showing increasing signs of discomfort, and her water broke at 11:30 a.m. Things progressed smoothly right through to the baby’s birth. Sekali’s maternal instincts kicked in right away: she immediately held the baby against her body, cleaned it, and showed concern whenever it vocalized. She even carefully repositioned the umbilical cord when shifting positions and thanks to the maternal training provided by Keepers, Sekali brought the baby up to the Keepers to let them get a close visual check a few hours after it was born – and identify the newborn as a male!
This is the second offspring for twenty-nine-year-old Sekali, who gave birth to her son, Kembali, in 2006, and the first offspring for Budi, a fifteen-year old male. Both Sekali and Budi were born at the Toronto Zoo (to unrelated parents) and were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). This cooperative breeding program, coupled with direct support of conservation work in Sumatra, is part of the Toronto Zoo’s commitment to ensure this critically endangered species will survive for future generations. The Toronto Zoo currently houses the only Sumatran orangutans in Canada and, as part of the AZA Sumatran Orangutan SSP, thirteen orangutans have been raised at your Toronto Zoo since 1974.