The recent birth of a critically endangered Bornean Orangutan took keepers at a zoo in the U.K. by surprise.
Mom Leia had been repeatedly tested to see if she was pregnant, but all tests had come back negative, so the birth of her little baby on June 18, 2020 came as a complete surprise to keepers at Chester Zoo.
They said Leia was doing a great job looking after her bundle of joy, adding the infant was “bright and alert” and feeding well from mum.
Because mom is so protective of the little one, keepers have not been able to determine whether it’s a boy or a girl — neither have they been able to share their joy with a wider public, because the pair had kept to themselves until fairly recently. The zoo was finally able to share video footage of mother and child in their enclosures on Tuesday.
Bornean orangutans are critically endangered, threatened by illegal hunting and the logging of their natural habitat.
They are only found in the wild on Indonesia’s Borneo Island, where their numbers have dwindled to as few as 55,000.