A baby Bornean Orangutan has gone on exhibit in the rainforest habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The infant which is now one month old was born on October 5. At the current time keepers are unaware of her gender and this means she is yet to be named.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has not had an orangutan baby since 2006. Its mother, Kera Wak has never had a baby before this one. The father is known as Tiram. This is his fifth baby. The zoo has bred four orangutans over the past 2 decades. Their group currently has 5 orangutans.
Keepers took Kera Wak off exhibit ahead of the birth so she would have time to bond with her infant after the birth. “So far our new mom has been doing a great job with the baby,” said Dr. Chris Kuhar the zoo’s executive director. “The baby seems to be very healthy and the introductions to the other orangutans went very smoothly.”
Kera Wak has spent 14 years at the zoo since moving there in 2000. During 1994 Tiram moved to the zoo. They are regularly seen at the zoo swinging through the trees and exhibiting playful behaviours.
Bornean orangutans make their homes on the island of Borneo.
This species is endangered and the zoo participates in a conservation breeding program known as a Species Survival Plan (SSP). This program attempts to make sure the captive population of this species is genetically and demographically diverse population of orangutans. Currently the program manages the 21 zoos in America which house 75 orangutans.
This is important as the orangutans are under threat due to the production of palm oil. This is the leading cause of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. This oil is commonly found in candies, cosmetics and a large number of other products. The zoo supports several conservation projects throughout these animals home ranges so they will survive into the future.
Photo Credits: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo