His proud mother has shown off a “very special” baby orangutan whose birth could spark a new generation of the critically endangered species.
As Blackpool Zoo’s first Bornean orangutan baby in more than 20 years, the five-week-old has boosted conservation efforts.
During a visit to the Lancashire tourist attraction on Saturday, Jingga’s mother held him toward the viewing windows with her arms outstretched.
Visitors filmed on their mobile phones and murmured excitedly as the baby smiled through the glass. He will stay with his mother until he is around seven years old.
The Bornean orangutan, born under the care of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), was hailed as an extraordinary addition by the keepers who proudly announced its birth in June.
Darren Webster, the zoo boss, expressed his joy, stating, “The arrival of this exceptional baby brings tremendous delight not only to us here at Blackpool Zoo but also to the entire species.”
He further emphasized the critical status of the Bornean orangutan, which was classified as critically endangered in July 2016 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, implying that the species faces an alarmingly high risk of extinction in the wild.
Considering this grave situation, breeding programs like the EEP are deemed absolutely essential, and there is optimism that this newborn marks the beginning of a new generation of beautiful Bornean orangutans within the confines of Blackpool Zoo.
Jingga arrived at the zoo in 2017, coming all the way from her birthplace, Barcelona.
The baby’s father, Kawan, who is also 13 years old, came from a Dutch zoo in 2022 and was selected to join a breeding group following discussions with EEP experts and experienced keepers.
Blackpool Zoo has actively participated in numerous significant conservation projects in recent times.
In May, it warmly welcomed three new lionesses to accompany its solitary lion, Khari, in a state-of-the-art big cat habitat, built at a cost of £1.5 million. Additionally, earlier this month, a male tiger joined tigress Alyona in the same habitat.
In 2019, the zoo introduced a male Asian elephant named Emmett to its group of female elephants, with the hope of creating a thriving “multi-generational herd.”
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