Guests can help name the orangutan and support orangutan conservation efforts
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo today announced the birth of a male orangutan on April 28, 2021. The baby is the first successful orangutan birth at the Zoo since 2014 and the fifth since The RainForest opened in 1992. Guests visiting Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have a chance to see baby and mom at The RainForest beginning today and can help name the orangutan and support conservation efforts in the wild.
To participate in the naming opportunity, guests can cast a vote online at FutureForWildlife.org/babynaming
to make a donation in support of orangutan conservation for one of the following names:
• Halim, meaning gentle
• Rimba, meaning jungle
• Zaki, meaning pure
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo keepers and veterinarians have been closely monitoring both baby and mom, Kera Wak. Bornean orangutans typically weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds at birth. This is Kera’s second successful offspring with sire, Tiram, following the birth of Merah in October 2014. Similar to humans, orangutan offspring are completely dependent on their mother for the first few years of their life.
Kera and baby have joined Tiram, Kayla and Merah in their habitat in The RainForest and guests have a chance to see them daily. Both mom and baby will also continue to have access to their behind-the-scenes area as they bond.
“We’re thrilled to announce the birth of our new male orangutan, who will serve as an important ambassador for the decreasing number of Bornean orangutans in the wild,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “By helping to name the orangutan, we hope to inspire a closer connection and appreciation for orangutans and the critical threats the species face in the wild.”
Bornean orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Orangutan population numbers have decreased by more than 50% in just 15 years primarily due to the deforestation of their habitat for agricultural uses such as unsustainable palm oil plantations.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo supports orangutan conservation in Borneo through its long-time partnership with Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (KOCP). Over the last 20 years, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $160,000 to support KOCP as they study and protect orangutans and their habitat in the Kinabatangan River forest. Donations raised as part of the naming opportunity will help contribute vital support for the protection of orangutans in the wild.
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