Kaja turned one this month, and his San Diego Zoo wildlife team threw him and his mother a big celebration to mark the occasion. This festive moment is significant, considering the life and death scare that engulfed the pair following his birth last year.
Kaja, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant; was born last year to mother, Indah. Following major health complications that left Indah hospitalized after giving birth, wildlife care specialists jumped in to care for Kaja and help nurture him during the critical early weeks of his life.
Almost immediately after giving birth, Indah started experiencing severe complications and was placed under the care of the Zoo’s wildlife health team. The team reached out to community-based experts, including neonatal anesthesiologists and OB-GYN specialists, and together they determined the older orangutan was experiencing excessive bleeding and had severe anemia. Indah’s treatment required several weeks of medication; but eventually, she made a full recovery, and the wildlife team reconnected mom and baby.
Wildlife care specialists eventually introduced Kaja to the rest of the orangutan group, and familiarized him with the two siamangs that share the habitat. Due to quick intervention, both mother and infant have thrived.
On his January 4th birthday, wildlife care specialists and the wildlife nutrition team provided wreaths made out of brose and hibiscus flowers, which are Kaja’s favorite. They also included a few ice cakes with #1 on them.