Wild on WANE: Orangutan Update

On November 22nd, Asmara, the baby Sumatran Orangutan, will turn 2 years old! She now weighs 14 pounds and is truly thriving here in the Indonesian Rainforest at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Many zoo guests have said they are concerned about how high she is swinging above the ground – afraid she would fall. Zookeeper Angie Selzer says they are not worried:

We’ve never had a baby on exhibit here. So, we weren’t sure how it was gonna work out – how mom would do with it. So, we did have the exhibit bedded down with about 80 bales of straw. In case that would happen, she had some cushioning. Never happened, we didn’t have to worry about it. She started climbing when she was about 4 to 6 months old and was all over the place. But, these guys are built for that. That’s what they would be doing in the wild. For their survival, they’ve got to hold onto mom 24 hours a day, 100 ft up in the air usually in the canopy. It’s just second nature to them and she’s a little acrobat most of the time so we’re not worried anymore.

Asmara is still nursing a bit from her mom, Tara, but is also eating all of the same fruits and veggies as the other Sumtran Orangutans. Zoo staff expect her to be nursing for another year. But, don’t worry, she won’t be leaving Fort Wayne anytime soon: she’s expected to be here for at least 6-8 years.

Sumatran Orangutans are critically endangered, with less than 14,000 in the wild due to deforestation. You can read more about the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program here.

The regular season at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo ends on October 9th. Wild Zoo Halloween events will then follow on certain days through the end of October. You can find more information here.

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