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Oregon Zoo announces critically endangered orangutan becomes first-time mom

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Posted at 10:49 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 13:50:28-04

The Oregon Zoo announced that a critically endangered orangutan became a first-time mom last week.

The zoo said 20-year-old Bornean orangutan Kitra gave birth to her first baby on April 13 at approximately 11 a.m.

Officials said the mom and baby are doing well and are staying behind the scenes in the maternity den to bond.

“We’re all pretty excited about it,” said Kate Gilmore, who oversees the zoo’s primate area, in a press release. “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. But so far, she seems to be taking to motherhood quite well.”

The zoo said Kitra's caregivers worked closely with her to prepare her for motherhood throughout her pregnancy.

Using a stuffed animal made by zoo volunteers, keepers taught her how to hold and nurse her offspring.

Kitra’s experience watching another orangutan, Kera Wak, raise a baby at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2014 might also help.

The zoo added that keepers are taking a hands-off approach but are closely monitoring both to make sure everything continues to go well.