The newest resident of The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo went on exhibit this morning for the first time. The 1-month-old baby Bornean orangutan was born off-exhibit on October 5, and the Zoo's animal care staff wanted to be sure to give the first-time mom and her new baby plenty of time to bond and get acclimated to the rest of the orangutan troop before introducing them to the public.
The baby orangutan, whose gender and name have yet to be determined, was born to first-time mom, Kera Wak, 16, and dad, Tiram, 28. The baby is Tiram's fifth offspring. It is the first orangutan birth at the Zoo since 2006 and the fourth orangutan born at the Zoo overall since The RainForest opened in 1992.
"Everything has been proceeding just fine," said Executive Zoo Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. "The baby seems to be very healthy and the introductions to the other orangutans went very smoothly."
Kera Wak has been in Cleveland since 2000. Tiram arrived in 1994. The baby brings the Zoo's troop of orangutans up to five, including females Kayla and Kitra.
Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) are endangered and found in the rainforests of Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia. Adult males can grow up to 5.5 feet and can weigh up to 317 pounds.
The Zoo participates in the Bornean orangutan Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Species Survival Plans are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species. SSPs identify population management goals and make recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population. The new baby is a very significant birth as there are only 75 Bornean orangutans in 21 different institutions in North America.
For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.