LONDON, 23 Jul. (DPA/EP) –
A “very special” baby orangutan, whose birth could kickstart a new generation of critically endangered species, has been put on display by its proud mother in England.
The five-week-old baby, yet to be named, is Blackpool City Zoo’s first Bornean orangutan baby in more than 20 years and has boosted conservation efforts.
On Saturday, his mother, Jingga, 13, thrilled visitors to the Lancashire tourist attraction by holding him up to windows with arms outstretched and head bowed.
The orangutan was born as part of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) and was described by keepers as “very special” when they announced his birth in June.
Zoo chief Darren Webster said: “The arrival of this very special baby is wonderful news, not just for us here at Blackpool Zoo, but for the species as well.”
“The Bornean orangutan was classified as critically endangered in July 2016 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature,” he explained, adding that “this means that this species now faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.”
“This makes breeding programs like the EEP absolutely vital, and we hope this is the start of a new generation of beautiful Bornean orangutans here at Blackpool Zoo.”
Blackpool Zoo has been at the center of several large conservation projects recently.
In May, he welcomed three new lionesses to keep his only lion, Khari, company in a new £1.5m (€1.7m) habitat for big cats, where a male tiger also joined tigress Alyona earlier this month.
In 2019, he featured the male Asian elephant Emmett in his parade of females in hopes of spawning a “multi-generational herd.”