Aww!
Orangutan mama proudly shows off her brand new baby after giving birth
It's not every day that we see the beauty of nature unfold in front of us.
Cherie Gozon
04.28.22

We celebrate life, especially when we welcome a newborn.

Babies give so much joy and hope to the family. That is what they symbolize, too. Births are a big thing because of that symbolism and a promise that something better awaits those that surround them.

This is the same with animals.

Unsplash - Liona Toussaint
Source:
Unsplash - Liona Toussaint

People don’t highlight animal births often since most animals have multiple births. But this doesn’t mean that it is not as precious and important. It still is worthy of celebration, for animal births signify hope like humans.

More so in the case of animals categorized as endangered or extinct.

We know of wild animals whose numbers have exponentially decreased. As the years pass, the adults become older and die of old age, while fewer younger ones are left. It’s all but a matter of time.

That’s why it was worth celebrating when this Bornean Orangutan gave birth.

Kitra was only fourteen years old when she was transferred from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to the Oregon Zoo in 2015. Since then, the zoo has taken excellent care of her and looked after her welfare.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, Bornean Orangutans are now endangered species.

Unsplash - Simone Millward
Source:
Unsplash - Simone Millward

Their number has decreased over the past century. Their latest estimated population is about 104,700, which is now considered endangered. Its relative species, the Sumatran Orangutans, are worse in numbers, with only around 7,500, and are considered critically endangered.

But a ray of hope was on the horizon lately when Kitra gave birth.

YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo

The zoo caregivers attended Kitra around 11 AM on April 13. They stayed by her side, knowing the significance of this birth to the entire species.

The moment the baby was out, Kitra ensured the young one stayed close.

This heartwarming video shows how Kitra pulled her baby close and absolutely loved snuggling with her little one. You can’t resist not falling in love with the sight of these two.

According to zoo caregivers, Kitra seemed to be taking motherhood so well.


“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,” said Kate Gilmore, one of the zoo’s primate area caretakers.

The caretakers have kept an eye on Kitra since her pregnancy.

YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo

They trained her to do voluntary ultrasounds and monitored her overall well-being throughout the process. They also taught her how to hold and nurse her baby using a stuffed orangutan.

But is the new baby a boy or a girl?

The staff couldn’t tell yet. They said it would take a few weeks for them to know. That doesn’t matter, really, as long as the baby is in the safe hands of its mother.

As you can see in the video, they have a very close resemblance to how human mothers take care of their babies.

YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo’s Senior Keeper Asaba Mukobi said that orangutans and humans share 98% of our DNA. This is also why visitors feel a strong connection when they see orangutans in the zoo.

Check out the adorable video below!

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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