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Baby Orangutan Born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

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Sarah gives birth to a healthy new baby.

Baby Orangutan Born at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

Orangutan baby rests next to Sarah on a bed of shredded paper. Photo by Amy Landers/ABQ BioPark.

April 26, 2013

The ABQ BioPark has another adorable addition!

Last night or early this morning, Sarah the Sumatran orangutan gave birth to a healthy baby. Zookeepers have not yet determined the gender. Sarah and the baby are currently behind the scenes, but they will soon rejoin the rest of the orangutans, including father Tonka and older sister Reese.

"The first few days after a birth are the most critical, and so far, the baby is alert, nursing and has a strong grip," said Debbie Wiese, Primate Supervisor. "Sarah is being an attentive mother and seems to be feeling good.

"These are positive signs, and we are optimistic that they will continue to thrive. We are closely monitoring them behind the scenes to make sure the baby's development progresses normally."

Surprise Pregnancy

Sarah's pregnancy surprised zookeepers last November, making it difficult to determine a due date.

This is the first orangutan birth at the BioPark since 2008 when Sarah had a female baby. Now four years old, Reese is very independent and has been spending time with Rubi, an older female, as Sarah and the new baby bond.

About Orangutans

In celebration of the birth, the zoo hosted an Orangutan Baby Shower on Saturday, May 11, which included animal enrichment and a gender reveal party. Check-in from 9 – 10:30 a.m. with a tax deductible $10+ gift for one free adult admission. (Members will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a one-year extension on their membership.) Guests enjoyed cake, voted for their favorite baby name, visited discovery stations, talked to orangutan zookeepers and generously gave gifts to support the orangutan family.

Sumatran orangutans are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) that promotes genetic diversity and sustainable populations through captive breeding.

Sarah's new baby is the most recent addition to this conservation program. Visit the orangutan exhibit to learn about threats they face in the wild and discover how you can help.

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