CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks announced Tuesday the birth of a male orangutan on April 28, making him the first successful orangutan birth at the zoo since 2014 and the fifth since The RainForest opened in 1992.
Zookeepers have been closely monitoring both baby and mom, Kera Wak. 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.
Bornean orangutans, which are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), typically weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds at birth.
Kera and her baby have joined Tiram, Kayla and Merah in their habitat and guests will have the opportunity to see them daily in The RainForest.
"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.”
The 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 unattainable palm oil plantations.
Beginning Tuesday, the public can help name the baby orangutan and support conservation efforts in the wild. Click here to participate.
- Halim, meaning gentle
- Rimba, meaning jungle
- Zaki, meaning pure
Donations raised as part of the naming opportunity will help contribute virtual support for the protection of orangutans in the wild.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.