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Sarah Gives Birth to Healthy Baby

This is the 38-year-old orangutan’s fourth offspring.

May 16, 2022 - ABQ BioPark zookeepers walked in to a pleasant surprise Sunday morning—a new baby orangutan!

Sarah, 38, gave birth sometime overnight to a healthy baby. This is her fourth offspring, including 9-year-old Pixel, who was with her when she gave birth.

“This is very exciting news for our orangutan group,” said Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo manager. “Sarah is an experienced mom, and the baby is doing well.”

The ABQ BioPark announced Sarah’s pregnancy in March. Sarah and her caregivers have been preparing for the birth with regular health care exams and training.

Mom and baby are currently on exhibit alongside Pixel, Rubi and Tonka. The sex of the baby is unknown at this time.

It often takes a while to determine the sex of a baby orangutan. In fact, the staff at the ABQ BioPark thought that Pixel was a male for the first few years her life. It wasn’t until a scheduled medical exam earlier this year when staff learned that Pixel was, in fact, female. Pixel's caretakers are excited that Pixel witnessed the birth, as she may one day be a mom as well.

Sarah’s pregnancy was part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to promote healthy, genetically diverse populations in human care. Orangutans are critically endangered, and genetic diversity is as important for animals in human care as it is for those in the wild. 


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