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It's a Girl! Rare Sumatran Orangutan Born at Fort Wayne Kid's Zoo

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has a new addition. Tara the Sumatran orangutan gave birth early Saturday. 

It’s a girl! New mom Tara delivered her healthy baby unassisted and with no complications - although zookeepers were prepared for any possible outcome.

Tara had been pregnant for about 8 months. Since she’s a first time mom, she spent those months practicing her motherly duties with a stuffed animal. Her trainers were also ready to assist if Tara didn’t take to her role well, or rejected the baby.

Cheryl Pirapato with the zoo says none of those backup measures have been needed.

“Tara is just taking very good care of her baby." says Pirapato. "Orangutan babies spend all their time on their mom for their first few months of life. And right now Tara is kind of recovering from delivering her baby, she’s spending a lot of time in her nest, and they’re spending a lot of time sleeping, as many new moms probably wish they could do.”

Since things are going well so far, zookeepers are letting Tara and the baby have their space and keeping a watchful eye.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, and the Fort Wayne baby is the only one to be delivered in captivity in the U.S. this year. She’s expected to be named within the next few weeks. 

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