A new addition to the Twycross Zoo: a baby Bornean orangutan! Photo by Twycross Zoo.
Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered Bornean orangutan. The baby ape, born on November 28, is happy, healthy and doing very well. The newborn is 36-year-old Kibriah’s fourth offspring.
Mother Kibriah with her new baby.
Great Ape Team Leader, Simon Childs, said: “We’re all very proud. Kibriah is a very loving mum and she’s doing such a great job. She is holding the baby very close so we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl just yet. When we find out the sex, we can then start to think of a name for him or her. At this stage we don’t mind what sex it is, we’re just happy to have another healthy infant.”
According to Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences: “The Bornean orangutan is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist (IUCN), with fewer than 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild. As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation. Experts now agree that orangutans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”
Semeru, a zoo-born Sumatran orangutan, will be released into a national park in Indonesia to help save the species from extinction.
Semeru, a six-year-old male Sumatran orangutan who was born and raised in the Perth Zoo in Australia, will be released into Bukit Tigapulah National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild, and Semeru’s introduction into the park would increase the genetic diversity of the orangutan population there.
To ensure Semeru will be able to survive in the wild after living his whole life only in captivity, zoo keepers and veterinarians spent a year preparing him for the transition.
According to Environment Minister Bill Marmion, “Semeru will be closely monitored and supported on a daily basis with two dedicated trackers for two years and longer if necessary while he adjusts to life in the forest.
“Semeru’s pre-release preparation has included the introduction of Indonesian fruits, enrichment items to sharpen his foraging skills and access to a large fig tree to increase his fitness and hone his climbing and nest-making skills.
“Semeru has also been fitted with a radio transmitter implant which will help trackers monitor him in the dense terrain of Bukit Tigpauluh.”
Sometimes animals outsmart us. This year, we witnessed several bold and cunning escapes.
Otter Escapes from Kansas Zoo
Kyra, a resident of the Hutchinson Zoo in Kansas, escaped from her zoo habitat on Valentine’s day and spent the week pond-hopping. Easily catching fish in other area ponds, she was unfazed by zookeeper attempts to lure her back with fish treats. But finally, she succumbed to the temptation of a hard-boiled egg.
Octopus Escapes New Zealand Aquarium
An octopus named Sid spent 5 days on the lam after escaping from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium. Sid managed to elude detection for those days by hiding in a drain that pumped fresh sea water into the aquarium. He was caught after being spotted making a dash for an open door.
Orangutan Plans Great Escape from Adelaide Zoo
Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, Karta, a 27-year old orangutan, short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all.
Wily Prairie Dogs Escape New Exhibit at Maryland Zoo
Ten minutes after the opening of a new $500,000 prairie dog exhibit, the clever rodents found multiple escape routes. Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.
Chimp Escape at the Chester Zoo
Thirty chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure at the Chester Zoo in England. They made their way into a food preparation area and had the feast of their lives.
At the Adelaide Zoo, Karta, a 27-year-old female orangutan hatched an ingenious plan to escape from her enclosure. Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, she short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all. Zoo veterinarians stood by with tranquilizer guns just in case.