CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed a new addition to the zoo late last month. The zoo announced Tuesday the successful birth of a male Bornean orangutan on April 28.
The one-month-old orangutan was the zoo’s first successful birth of an orangutan in seven years, and the fifth since 1992 when it opened the RainForest exhibition.
The orangutan does not have a name yet. The zoo said that three names, Zaki, Rimba and Halim, are being considered. The public can help choose by donating to the zoo under one of the three names up for consideration. The name will be announced June 9.
“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 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 zoo said orangutan population in the wild has decreased 50% in the last 15 years. The zoo blames deforestation for the reduced orangutan population. Since 1903, the orangutan population in the wild has dropped 97%, according to the Orangutan Foundation International.
The zoo has provided the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme $160,000 over the last 20 years to promote conservation efforts.
Like human babies, orangutan infants are dependent on their mothers for the first years of life. Orangutans have a lifespan of 60 years in prime living conditions, said the Orangutan Foundation International.