Zoo Visitors Shocked to See First Critically Endangered Orangutan Born in Nearly a Decade

Officials said the newborn Bornean orangutan is a significant addition to a population classified as "critically endangered" last year.

A critically endangered baby orangutan was born at an England zoo for the first time in nearly a decade, shocking visitors who happened to be there to witness the rare sight.

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Bornean orangutan mom Sarikei gave birth to her offspring Sunday morning in their exhibit following an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy.

Since the birth, the baby, whose name and gender have not yet been revealed, has been clinging to her mom. It is the first baby Bornean orangutan to be born at the Chester Zoo in eight years.

“She is so far doing a wonderful job of caring for her little one," the zoo’s primate keeper, Chris Yarwood, said in a statement. "She’s a great mum."

Zoo officials said the newborn becomes a significant addition to the population, which was recently re-classified to "critically endangered" last year as they face a high threat of extinction in the wild.

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The statement from the zoo cited deforestation by the oil industry as the reason behind their declining numbers.

"Simple everyday choices, such as making sure your product purchases from the supermarket contain only sustainably sourced palm oil, can have a massive impact,” said Tim Rowlands, the zoo’s curator of animals.

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