Denver Zoo’s six-week-old Sumatran Orangutan has been enjoying the warmer spring weather. Keepers have seen the little female several times in the outdoor exhibit, clinging tightly to mom.
The new baby was born March 25 to mom, Nias, and dad, Berani. The infant’s unique name, Cerah, means “bright” in Indonesian and is often used to refer to sunshine.
(ZooBorns shared news and pics of Cerah’s arrival in an article from April: “Denver Zoo Celebrates the ‘Sunshine’ of Spring”)
Mom, Nias, is 29-years-old and arrived at Denver Zoo in 2005. Berani is 25-years-old and arrived in 2017. The two were paired together under recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® Program, which oversees the population management of select species within AZA member institutions and enhances conservation of those species in the wild. The coupling proved to be a fast success, as Nias and Berani met in July of 2017 and conceived Cerah less than a month later.
The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the world’s most endangered great apes. It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of palm oil plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products, throughout the world, from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.
The species currently has an official classification of “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.