Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Has a New Baby Orangutan, and It Needs Your Help

Haris Mohammad

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The baby orangutan at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.Facebook/ClevelandMetroparksZoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is known for its collection of primates (largest in the United States today) and its extremely popular exhibit, The Rainforest

The main attraction of The Rainforest is the Bornean orangutan, a “critically endangered” species, according to the IUCN Red List. 

For decades, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has not only provided a safe home to these highly intelligent animals from South East Asian islands but also worked actively for their conservation, in partnership with Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme (KOCP). It’s one of the things they have taken great pride in.

Well, now they have more to be proud of.

The Baby Orangutan

Last Monday, the zoo announced the birth of a male orangutan. The baby was born to Kera Wak, one of the four (now five) Bornean orangutans — the other three being Tiram, Kayla, and Merah — housed at the zoo. 

This is Kera’s second successful offspring with sire, Tiram. The first was Merah, born in the zoo in October 2014.

The announcement said that the mother and baby are both doing well, and visitors can see them. So if you live close enough, this might be a good chance to see something rare and beautiful.

But if you can’t visit them, here’s a photo posted by the zoo on their Facebook page.

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The baby orangutan at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.Facebook/ClevelandMetroparksZoo

Understandably, people couldn’t stop drooling at the photo. One user said, “I can’t get over how adorable he is! Congrats!” Another, who had apparently seen the duo at the zoo, said, “The Mom is so proud of him. She often sits by the window and lets everybody see him.”

You Can Help Name the Baby

Now that the baby is over a month old, it’s high time he got his own name. The zoo has shortlisted three names for this purpose — Halim (meaning gentle), Rimba (meaning jungle), and Zaki (meaning pure).

The zoo is inviting people to cast their votes and help it decide. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar said, “By helping to name the orangutan, we hope to inspire a closer connection and appreciation for orangutans and the critical threats the species face in the wild.”

People need to visit the Cleveland Zoo Society website, indicate their choice, and make a contribution. The name which fetches the highest contribution will be given to the baby. The money collected through this campaign will be directed towards orangutan conservation efforts in the wild.

I am gravitating towards Rimba, perhaps because it rhymes with Simba. Which one would you prefer? Let me know.

Oh, and if you are interested, make sure you vote by June 8, 2021. 

More About Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Established in 1882 and spanning 183 acres, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo houses about 3,000 animals belonging to over 600 species. It is among the oldest, largest, and most visited zoos in the United States.

As mentioned earlier, among the zoo’s most popular exhibits is The RainForest. Contained in a large two-story building, it is one of the world’s largest indoor tropical environments. The exhibit is home to over 10,000 plants and 600 animals, some of which are Bornean orangutan, giant anteater, reticulated python, and Clouded leopard.

Other exhibits at the zoo include African Savanna, Australian Adventure, and The RainForest.

The zoo also has a state-of-the-art 4-D Theater to entertain adults and kids alike with its short immersive shows and movies.

So yeah, a great place to visit!

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