Critically-endangered orangutan born at Henry Vilas Zoo

A critically endangered Bornean Orangutan was born at the Henry Vilas Zoo, in Madison,...
A critically endangered Bornean Orangutan was born at the Henry Vilas Zoo, in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday, June 11, 2022.(Henry Vilas Zoo via Facebook)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 1:04 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Henry Vilas Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a critically endangered Bornean Orangutan. The proud mother Chelsea gave birth to her newborn on Saturday and has been doting on her baby ever since.

“Chelsea has been doing such a good job of taking care of her baby, we don’t even know the baby’s sex yet!” the zoo staff wrote in a Facebook post. It explained the infant is still very tiny, likely around three pounds and the little orangutan will be dependent on mom for the next few years.

For now, Chelsea and the child are spending their time bonding with each other, and the zoo says they are doing well. In the wild, a mother and child orangutan would stay together for seven or eight years before the kid would venture out into the world on its own, the zoo added, noting that they have one of the longest childhoods in the animal kingdom.

Those long childhoods also come with the slowest reproductive rates in any mammal. The zoo pointed out that she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy named Bob in 2006. Bob has now gone to live at the Oregon Zoo and become the father to a little girl.

So, not only is Chelsea a new mom, she’s a new grandma too!

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