Newborn zoo orangutan needs a little help

06/13/2011 12:00 AM

08/06/2014 11:43 AM

A baby orangutan at the Sedgwick County Zoo is getting a lot of individual attention.

The male baby, born May 19, is being hand-raised by zookeepers there. The baby, now 5 pounds, 1 ounce, was 3 pounds, 15 ounces when he was born.

The baby's mother, Daisy, has not shown great interest in nursing, picking up or caring for her baby, said Christan Baumer, the zoo's marketing and public relations manager. The newborn is not on exhibit.

"As long as the keepers are still providing most of the care, he will be off exhibit," Baumer said.

In addition to caring for the baby, zookeepers are going through maternal training to help Daisy, Baumer said.

This is Daisy's second baby, but her first in Wichita.

Daisy, who is 29, was born at the Birmingham, Ala., zoo and lived at the Atlanta zoo before coming to Wichita in 2009, Baumer said. The zoo acquired her to breed with Panji, nearly 16, who was born at the zoo to Tia.

Baumer said that Tia, who still lives at the zoo, is the second-oldest orangutan on record worldwide at age 54. The three generations will be on display together in the exhibit once Daisy can care for her baby.

In the meantime, the zoo is asking for your help to name the baby.

To help select his name, cast your vote at either Kansas.com or on the zoo's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SedgwickCountyZoo. You can vote once on each site through June 19.

Votes will be combined, and the zoo will announce the winner during the weekend of June 24.

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