Say hello to Jaya, the newest resident in the Zoo's Primate Panorama habitat.
We have a new celebrity in our midst, Denverites!
Jaya, an 11-year-old Sumatran orangutan comes to us by way of the Midwest, but his birth made the record books.
"Jaya made history when he was born in 2007 via an emergency cesarean section at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Shortly after his birth, Jaya went into respiratory arrest and veterinarians had to use CPR to resuscitate him. After 11 days of 24-hour care, Jaya was healthy enough to be reunited with his mother, Marsika, becoming the first successful reintroduction of an orangutan infant born via c-section to a first-time mom," the Denver Zoo shared in a recent release.
This healthy and highly social orangutan recently arrived at the Denver Zoo, originating from the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minn. He comes to us on the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium Species Survival Plan in order to be a mate for Eirina, the Denver Zoo's 12-year-old Sumatran orangutan female.
"Animal care staff report that Jaya and Eirina are already getting along very well, and, with any luck, will make a valuable addition to the dwindling population of their critically endangered species in the future," zoo officials say.
There are only about 9,200 Sumatran orangutans in the wild, which is why they are considered critically endangered. Habitat loss due to population expansion, logging, forest fires, and timber clearing for palm oil plantations have left the animals without a place to survive. In addition, orangutans are hunted for their meat, as well as for the illegal pet trade. Despite protection efforts, unless these practices change significantly, the species could be extinct from the wild within a decade, according to the zoo.
Jaya is already enjoying his home in the Great Apes habitat in Primate Panorama. When you visit, you can recognize him by his billy goat-style beard and exceptionally long limbs. If you wish to help protect Sumatran orangutans in the wild, purchasing sustainable wood and palm oil products is a good first step. Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app to help make orangutan-friendly choices.
You can learn more about the inhabitants of Primate Panorama on the Denver Zoo's website.