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Bottle-fed baby orangutan at New Orleans Zoo fascinates other monkeys

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Bottle-fed baby orangutan at New Orleans Zoo fascinates other monkeys

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Keepers at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans are hand-raising their new primate pal with round-the-clock attention — and it’s got attention.

A baby Sumatran orangutan — a member of a critically endangered species — is bottle-fed at the New Orleans Zoo after its mother had complications with milk production, The Associated reported. Press.

The unnamed baby monkey was originally tube fed until January 13.

Now the baby receives constant care from zoo staff in furry vests he can hold on to while they tend to him.


Menari, a twelve-year-old orangutan and first-time mother, gave birth to twins on Christmas Eve, but one of the babies was stillborn.

The sole survivor began to show signs of weakness and lack of breastfeeding a few days later.

In this undated photo provided by the New Orleans Audubon Zoo, an endangered baby Sumatran orangutan, born Dec. 24, 2021, rests in New Orleans. (Audubon Zoo via AP)

Vets examined Menari and found that the mother had lactation issues.

Since the baby was taken into the care of zookeepers, he is eating well and now weighs 4.35 pounds, according to Bob Lessnau, vice president and general curator of the Audubon Nature Institute.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has deemed the great ape species, known for their long red hair, endangered since Sumatran orangutans faced threats such as hunting and destruction of forests and peatlands.

Lessnau said in a statement that the baby was exposed to other orangutans for six to seven hours a day.

The group of monkeys seem to be most intrigued by their newest addition during bottle feedings and diaper changes.

Two-year-old orangutan Bulan, the eldest of Father Jambi’s three children, is “particularly interested in the new little guy,” according to a Jan. 13 statement.

Audubon Zoo senior veterinarian Bob McLean shared that Menari is currently receiving medication that can help maintain lactation.

Experts from New Orleans Children’s Hospital were also called in to help find ways to stimulate the baby’s sucking.

“We don’t know if she [Menari] will maintain or restart lactation if we are successful in reintroducing the infant to her,” McLean said Wednesday.

But there is still hope for Menari.


She, too, was hand raised and successfully reintroduced to her mother at eight months, according to Audubon’s senior veterinarian Bob MacLean.

Sumatran orangutans are not weaned until around 7 years old, and females have the longest period between births of any mammal – 8.2 to 9.3 years, according to the International Union for nature conservation.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

Bottle-fed baby orangutan at New Orleans Zoo fascinates other monkeys

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