Baby Oregon Zoo orangutan named after Dolly Parton song


Oregon Zoo staff have finally named a baby orangutan born three weeks ago after a classic Dolly Parton tune. 

The auburn-haired baby ‘Jolene’ was named for the line, “Your beauty is beyond compare / with flaming locks of auburn hair,” in the famous song. 

20-year-old first-time mom Kitra is bonding with Jolene in their outdoor habitat as the sun makes more appearances this month. 

You can read Jolene’s initial birth announcement below. 

Oregon Zoo welcomes orangutan baby from first-time mom Kitra

Kate Gilmore, who oversees the zoo’s primate area, says visitors should be able to see the pair on most days. 

“Because we’re giving Kitra and her baby plenty of room to bond, we were unable to tell if she’d had a boy or a girl until recently,” Gilmore said. “Once we confirmed she was a girl, our keeper team knew right away what they wanted to call her. They’ve been playing the song on repeat ever since!”

Care staff worked with Kitra to prepare for motherhood during her pregnancy, but Gilmore said the Bornean orangutan has been doing well so far. 

“We’ve never been so happy to put in hours of work on something that didn’t happen,” said Gilmore. “We were prepared to step in if Kitra needed us, but she’s done everything perfectly on her own so far.”

Orangutan babies are born after a gestation period of around 8.5 months and typically weigh a little over 3 pounds at birth.


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