First orangutan born in Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 25 years

WASHINGTON (WSVN) – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is celebrating an event that hasn’t happened in more than two decades: the birth of a male Bornean orangutan.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo blog, this is the first time an orangutan was born in Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 25 years. The male orangutan was born at 8:52 p.m., Tuesday, after the two 19-year-old parents, female Batang and male Kyle, bred in January following a breeding recommendation.

The zoo made Batang’s pregnancy public through a Facebook Live broadcast on June 14. Staff utilized social media to continue sharing behind-the-scenes information.

“I am very proud of Batang and my team. Ever since we received the breeding recommendation, they have dedicated themselves to preparing Batang for motherhood,” said Meredith Bastian, in the Zoo’s blog post. “Each and every birth of a critically endangered species is significant, but it is all the more exciting, and this is a historic moment for our Smithsonian’s National Zoo.”

Zoo keepers trained Batang for the experience of motherhood and how to care for an infant. Staff members learned how to mix formula in order to prepare for every possible situation.

The infant orangutan will remain in the Great Ape House, which is currently closed in order to provide Batang time with her child.

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