Topeka Zoo, Expecting a Baby.. or Two!

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
The Topeka Zoo is proud to announce that two of their Bornean Orangutans are pregnant. Lena, 30 years of age, and Rudy, 27, are both expected to deliver their babies in late February.

This photo of Daisy the orangutan was taken by Topeka Zoo staff in April 2010. (Submitted)


TOPEKA ZOO -- The Topeka Zoo is proud to announce that two of their Bornean Orangutans are pregnant. Lena, 30 years of age, and Rudy, 27, are both expected to deliver their babies in late February.

As part of their ongoing conservation efforts, the Topeka Zoo participates in the Species Survival Program (SSP). Through this program, SSP recommendations advised the breeding of both females.

"We are thrilled with this news" said Brendan Wiley, Zoo Director. "In a time where the Bornean Orangutan population is declining at alarming rates, we are able to make a difference in this species right here in Topeka".

This is the second pregnancy for Rudy. Her previous pregnancy resulted in the birth of Rayma who is now seven years old and resides at the zoo. This is the first pregnancy for Lena. Both orangutans will be followed closely by Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Shirley Llizo, local veterinarian Dr. Leon Conner, as well as Perinatologist Dr. John Evans, who oversees the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department at Stormont-Vail HealthCare.

An orangutans gestation period is 8 1/2 months. At birth, the offspring weigh approximately 3 1/2 pounds. Infant orangutans will stay in close contact with their mothers for a long time. For the first two years, the infant is completely reliant on the mother for both food and transportation and will be found clinging to the mothers stomach, side, or back as she swings from tree to tree in the jungle.

Sadly, the Bornean Orangutan is listed as endangered. Less than 20,000 Bornean Orangutans remain in the wild. A number of threats including deforestation, mining, poaching and illegal trade are threatening the populations of this species as well as their habitat.


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