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Toronto Zoo Sumatran Orangutan Is Expecting

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 7, 2021 11:30 pm

Toronto Zoo Sumatran orangutan are expecting

Budi (left) and Sekali (right) are expecting their first infant together at the Toronto Zoo

Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo in Canada are expecting their first Sumatran orangutan infant in fifteen years. They have announced that female Sekali (29) is now pregnant with the father being Budi (15).

The pair were placed together by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to help increase the population of this critically endangered species.

“This pregnancy is an important contribution to a genetically healthy Sumatran orangutan population,” said Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo.

“We’re thrilled that Sekali and Budi are increasing the population of these critically endangered animals.” said Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director of the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy.

Sekali and Budi were both born at Toronto Zoo. They were introduced in 2017 but as Budi was not yet mature and breeding did not occur at this time. The pair were reintroduced in February 2021 and have since been enjoying one another's company.

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The new infant will get to enjoy life in the new outdoor orangutan habitat which is set to open in Spring 2022. This expansion of their habitat will expand the space for the orangutans so they have more choice in their daily activities.

Orangutans are among the closest relatives of humans and this comes in handy during the pregnancy. Keepers were able to use an over-the-counter pregnancy test to detect the pregnancy. She is also being given prenatal vitamins.

By analyzing samples of her urine keepers have determined that conception occurred in August 2021. With an 8 month gestation it is expected that Sekali will give birth in April 2022.

In 2017 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature list the Sumatran orangutan as critically endangered. Fewer than 15,000 of these animals remain in the wild.

Toronto Zoo support conservation work for the orangutan in the wild. They also provide a home for the only Sumatran orangutan family in Canada. Since 1974 they have welcomed thirteen orangutans.

Budi (left) and Sekali (right) are expecting their first infant together at the Toronto Zoo

Video Credit: Toronto Zoo

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

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

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