Indy Zoo family to grow with pregnancy of Sumatran orangutan

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 11, 2015)-- Congratulations, Sirih! The 22-year-old Sumatran orangutan is pregnant, officials announced Wednesday.

The baby will be the second for Sirih, who had a daughter in 2003 when she lived at the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany. The pregnancy is the first at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, which opened at the Indianapolis Zoo last May.

“The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center is a model for how a Midwest community can change the future of endangered species across the world,” said Mike Crowther, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo. “The Indianapolis community continues to embrace the orangutans at the Center and reforest their habitat in the wild. We’re excited to share this new phase of our journey with those who are helping us advance animal conservation both locally and globally.”

The father of Sirih’s baby is 14-year-old Basan, who is also a Sumatran orangutan, a species listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There’s estimated to be only about 6,500 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild.

“One of our primary goals for the Center is to offer the orangutans as many social choices as possible, and an infant will only increase the richness of their environment,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, the Indianapolis Zoo’s Supervising VP of Conservation, Science and Education. “Many of the female apes have never met a baby before, so this will be as new and remarkable for them as it will be for our Zoo visitors.”

The Indianapolis Zoo is home to nine orangutans.

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