A Sumatran Orangutan named Daisy gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 8:14 a.m. on September 7 at Sedgwick County Zoo.
Daisy began labor during the afternoon of September 6. After laboring naturally through the night, she encountered complications and the decision was made to deliver the baby via C-section.
Dr. Laura Whisler and Dr. Janna Chibry of College Hill, OB-GYN have consulted with the Sedgwick County Zoo on all great ape pregnancies since 2013, and they were on hand to perform the delivery of Daisy’s baby on September 7. In keeping with the flower theme, the new baby has been named Lily.
Following Lily’s birth, Daisy was in quite a bit of pain from the delivery, and both mom and baby were at high risk for infection and other complications. Lily required close medical observation and daily injections of antibiotics to treat a systemic bacterial infection. Daisy required time for her incision to heal. A team of three keepers has been taking shifts to care for Lily day and night.
Newborn Orangutans are born with the ability to hold themselves to their mothers by clinging to their fur. In order to help Lily hone this instinct, her three keepers wear handmade shirts with fleece fringe attached to simulate mom Daisy’s long fur.
Both mom and baby will remain behind the scenes for some time to allow for recovery and bonding. In the meantime, the Zoo will post regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.
This is the third baby for 36-year-old Daisy and the third for 22-year-old dad, Panji. This is also an important birth for the Sumatran Orangutan population. Sumatran Orangutans are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, largely due to deforestation for palm oil plantations.
(More great pics below the fold!)