WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Tao, a Sumatran orangutan, gave birth to a healthy baby girl earlier today. According to Sedgwick County Zoo officials, this is the first baby for Tao, 13, and second for dad Panji, 22.
“Tao’s maternal behaviors are strong and she immediately started cleaning the baby after birth. The baby is healthy and clinging well to mom,” said senior keeper Danielle Decker. “All of the behaviors we’re seeing tell us that things are going exactly as they should.”
Keepers will continue to monitor mother and infant bonding and development, especially to make sure the infant is nursing regularly in these first few days.
It’s a bit too soon to determine when zoo guests will be able to see Tao and baby. Keepers will let Tao determine when she’s ready to leave the nest.
Tao arrived at the Sedgwick County Zoo in 2016 from the Dortmund Zoo in Germany and recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan®. Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild, mainly because of habitat loss due to the conversion of native forests into oil palm plantations.