The Oregon Zoo announced this week that a new baby orangutan was born on Wednesday, April 13 around 11 a.m.
Staff reports that first-time mom Kitra and her newborn are doing well in a behind-the scenes maternity den.
“We’re all pretty excited about it,” said Kate Gilmore, who oversees the zoo’s primate area. “It’s great to see Kitra taking such good care of her baby. There’s still a lot that could happen, so we’re being very cautious and giving her as much quiet time as possible. But so far she seems to be taking to motherhood quite well.”
“We couldn’t ask for anything more,” agreed senior keeper Asaba Mukobi. “She pulled the baby close to her right away, and the baby appears to be strong and healthy.”
Back in 2014, Kitra was able to observe another orangutan, Kera Wak, raising a baby at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo where she lived previously. Her caregivers hope the observation will help her adjust to motherhood.
Mukobi said it will take a few weeks to be sure whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
Staff will closely monitor both mother and baby to make sure they stay healthy, and will decide a date for their public debut at a later time.
“We will be watching to assess their progress,” Gilmore said. “The first few days are especially critical. Our care staff and veterinary team have been dedicated to giving Kitra everything she needed for a successful birth. Thankfully, she hasn’t needed much help from us so far. She’s been doing a great job by herself.”