The Phoenix Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a baby boy Bornean orangutan. The orangutan was born on Tuesday afternoon, September 2, 2014 to mother Bess and father Michael. The newborn is the second baby born to Bess and Michael, joining eight-year-old sister Kasih.

Bornean orangutan Bess with newborn baby boy.

Bornean orangutan Bess with newborn baby boy.

Mom and baby appear to be doing well and are spending time bonding in their night house. The pair will stay in this area while keepers and veterinary staff closely monitor them to determine Bess is recovering from the delivery and that the baby is healthy. The baby has been seen opening his eyes and nursing while in the tight, protective arms of his mother. We expect the pair to move onto exhibit in the next few days but do not have an exact date for that at this time; details will be made available as soon as we know more.

Daniel, an eight-year-old male orangutan who came to the Phoenix Zoo from Cleveland also inhabits the orangutan exhibit.

About Bornean Orangutans

Bornean orangutan are listed as ‘Endangered’ and  scientists estimate that wild orangutans could be extinct in 5-10 years if their forest habitat continues to be destroyed at the current rate. Forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being destroyed to grow palm oil, which is used in countless snack foods, household cleaning supplies and cosmetics. The Phoenix Zoo contributes to Bornean orangutan conservation efforts through the Phoenix Zoo Conservation & Science Grants Program, specifically working with HUTAN, to provide assistance for reforestation of protected areas for orangutans.

You can help reduce demand for unsustainably harvested palm oil by purchasing products that use certified sustainable palm oil and by supporting the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

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