The Jakarta Post
Mangkang Zoo in Semarang, Central Java has witnessed the birth of a Kalimantan orangutan. Belia, a female orangutan, was born on Saturday afternoon and is now the fourth Kalimantan orangutan in Mangkang Zoo since it was established in 2007.
Belia's parents are Bela, her 16-year-old mother, and her 17-year-old father Beli.
Bela gave birth normally, without the assistance of a veterinarian or zookeeper, as if she was in her natural habitat.
'We were afraid that if we helped her give birth, she would become stressed. So, we just monitored the delivery process,' said Mangkang Zoo director Kusyanto on Sunday.
Kusyanto said the baby orangutan looked healthy. Since giving birth, Bela has kept her baby close and the zookeeper has not been able to check its body weight.
'It is normal that after giving birth, a female orangutan will isolate herself and her young one,' said Kusyanto.
With Belia, Mangkang Zoo now has a total of 350 animals, which consist of 50 types.
In 2007, Bela gave birth to her first baby orangutan, but it died due to its abnormal condition.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the population of orangutans continues to drop. During the last 20 years, the population of Kalimantan orangutans has declined by 55 percent due to the deforestation-related loss of natural habitat.
The Kalimantan orangutan is categorized as an endangered species as there are only approximately 57,000 left that live in their natural habitat and conservation areas. (ebf)
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