Baby Orangutan Born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

The new baby orangutan born only a few days ago at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was on display for the first time Easter weekend.

The four pound baby boy was born Wednesday afternoon at the zoo and he is a very important addition to the orangutan species.

"Orangutan's are really endangered and zoo's may be the only hope," said zoo keeper Mandy Hollingsworth.

And this baby is even more valuable thanks to his mom Hadiah.

"She's the third most valuable orangutan born in captivity and that’s because she doesn't have very many relatives and so her genes are very valuable,” said Hollingsworth.

But upon arrival Hadiah and Dad Tujho, weren't quite sure what to do.

"This is their first baby, they didn't really know what was going on and they were just kind of freaked out and afraid," said Hollingsworth.

Typical behavior for orangutans raised in captivity, but it also meant that their baby had to be put in human care. 24 hours a day, he must be held just as if he were in the wild with his mom.

"An orangutan is with their mom for about 6 or 7 years and we try to do that in captivity," said Hollingsworth.

And so it's very important that this baby eventually either go back with it's mom or find a surrogate.

"We have made a few attempts to try and get the baby back with mom but so far she still seems pretty nervous and pretty afraid of it."

And if none of the female orangutans take the baby, he may have to go to a different zoo just like the baby gorilla Umande.

The new baby doesn't have a name yet, it will be on display again Monday from 10am to 1pm.


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