The Baby Boom Is Not Ending, an Orangutan Was Born

Another baby! Third time this year I announced a birth of an ape. After two lowland gorillas a Sumatran orangutan baby was born on May 2, after the noon hour! And on top of that, it is a grandchild of the famous and genetically valuable Káma.

We followed the progress of the gravidity of the mother of the baby, the eleven-year-old female Diri, for many months  with tension and some uncertainty. Her previous gravidity ended in a miscarriage, and also this one didn’t seem to us to be completely trouble-free. But all turned out well! Even though the baby was born at a very early term – we expected the birth between April 29 and June 16 – my colleagues immediately informed me that the baby was fully developed and tried to drink.

Diri gave birth to her baby in the outdoor enclosure. The first time it was seen on the cameras was a minute before 1 p.m. Shortly after, however, Diri moved with him into indoor spaces and later to the interior exhibit of the Indonesian Jungle House. There, together with Jaroslav Šimek and Oliver Le Que, we were already waiting for her, hoping to get the first shots of the successor of Káma’s dynasty. But we were not lucky. Diri didn’t show us the baby.

I left to work on other things, but after about twenty minutes I got a message that the baby is perfectly visible. Unfortunately, I came back too late, however, Oliver managed to take a shot that we used for the first report on the orangutan baby birth.

For the rest of the afternoon, when I had various meetings, I was getting messages each time when it was possible to see the baby. I hoped that Oliver or Jaroslav would succeed to take its portrait. But when I joined them at half past five, they were a bit sad; they hadn’t succeeded to take any better photo than the Oliver’s first one.

All three of us waited at the exhibit for a while, but Diri with the baby was laying in such a position that not a single hair was visible. After some time, I stayed alone, and I decided to wait another five minutes. Then I extended waiting by another five minutes, and then another five. And finally, I got it! First, I took a photo of Diri’s hand holding the little hand of the baby and after a while also the very first shot of its face. Oliver and Jaroslav did the waiting for these two photos in my behalf.

So now you can take a look of Diri’s baby. It was still all wrinkled, when I photographed it on Thursday evening, but I think it had a lot of cuteness anyway. And it will gradually grow much higher!

Miroslav Bobek