Sacramento Zoo Welcomes First Orangutan Baby in Four Decades
- The Sacramento Zoo in California announced the birth of a male baby Sumatran orangutan, marking its first orangutan birth since 1981.
- While the mother Indah had difficulty nursing her newborn, the zoo’s animal care team stepped in to provide supplemental care, with plans underway to reunite the pair.
- This birth is significant as Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, with every new birth contributing to the stabilization of this declining species.
The Sacramento Zoo has welcomed a new family member – a baby Sumatran orangutan – marking a significant event for the zoo as it’s the first orangutan birth since 1981.
The male infant was born to Indah, the zoo’s 19-year-old Sumatran orangutan, and both mother and infant are reportedly doing well.
“Indah, the zoo’s 19-year-old Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to a healthy male infant,” the zoo declared in a Facebook post.
“Both mother and infant are doing well.”
While Indah exhibited appropriate maternal behavior, the first-time mom faced difficulties nursing her newborn.
To ensure the baby’s well-being, the zoo’s animal care team decided to provide supplemental care.
“After the birth of the infant, care staff began around-the-clock observations to be certain everything was going smoothly with the pair,” the Sacramento Zoo shared.
“While Indah’s behavior was appropriate, the first-time mother was having difficulty nursing, and the team made the decision to intervene in order to provide the infant with supplemental care.”
The team is now working round the clock to care for the infant, while continuously reevaluating plans to reunite him with Indah.
The zoo acknowledges that the timeframe for reintroduction remains uncertain, but that remains their ultimate goal.
The birth of this baby Sumatran orangutan is indeed a monumental success, given that Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, according to The ICUN Red List of Threatened Species.
Every new birth is a significant step in helping to stabilize the declining population of this species in the wild.
Interestingly, a video teaching an orangutan how to breastfeed went viral earlier this year.
The footage showed a zookeeper at Virginia’s Metro Richmond Zoo demonstrating nursing using her own infant to guide Zoe, the orangutan.
Within 24 hours of the lesson, Zoe began nursing her baby, highlighting the effectiveness of such supportive interventions.