Sedgwick County Zoo welcomes baby orangutan

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The Sedgwick County Zoo has a new arrival: a baby orangutan born on Thursday.

The female orangutan is the first for 13-year-old mother Tao and second for 22-year-old dad Panji, zoo officials said in a news release.

“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 Tao and her baby's 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.

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