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Audubon Zoo Orangutan Expecting Twins

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 23, 2021 12:59 pm

Audubon Zoo Orangutan Expecting

Menari, a 12 year old Sumatran orangutan is preparing to welcome twin infants at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo are expecting their female Sumatran orangutan Menari to give birth sometime during December or January. Even more exciting is that keepers and vets have been able to determine she is carrying twins.

"We are very excited about this pregnancy," said Audubon's Senior Veterinarian Bob MacLean. "Twinning is extremely rare in orangutans–there is only about a 1% chance of this happening."  

Despite twins being rare this will be the second set to be born at Audubon Zoo. The first was in 1985 when Sarah gave birth to twins, "Bon Temps" aka "Bonnie" and "Lagniappe" aka "Lana." Both were hand-raised and have gone on to lead successful lives with Lana still alive at 36 while Bonnie passed away in 2016 at Zoo Miami.

Audubon Zoo Orangutan Expecting

Jambi, the male Sumatran orangutan at the Audubon Zoo is the father of the twins

Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

Menari is a first time mother but she has been able to watch her mother Feliz raising her latest infant Bulan who was born in 2019. She has also experienced adopted sister Reese raising her infant born earlier this year.

The care staff and veterinary teams at Audubon Zoo are working through a training and enrichment program with Menari which will prepare her for motherhood.

During her training they are working to ensure she is comfortable with staff assisting with feeding and care for one or both of the infants where necessary.

Menari herself was hand-reared at Audubon Zoo in 2009.

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Jambi has proven to be a successful father since his arrival from Hannover Zoo in Germany in 2018. He has fathered Feliz's infant, Bulan in 2019 and Reese's infant, Madu in February 2021.

His move has helped to bring new genetic diversity to the population of Sumatran orangutans held in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Sumatran orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Less than 14,000 individuals remain in the wild with their population declining due to the spread of palm oil plantations in their habitat.

Audubon Zoo Orangutan Expecting

Menari, a 12 year old Sumatran orangutan is preparing to welcome twin infants at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

Learn more about Sumatran Orangutans here – Sumatran Orangutan Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Audubon Zoo on their website – Audubon Zoo

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