Fort Wayne Zoo expecting orangutan baby this fall

Tara the Orangutan (Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is expecting a baby orangutan this fall, in mid-November to early December.

This is the first baby for Tara, a 19-year-old Sumatran orangutan. Tara came to the Fort Wayne Zoo in 2013 from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. The father is Tengku, a 28-year-old male orangutan. He arrived in Fort Wayne from Zoo Atlanta in 1995.

Orangutan’s are pregnant for an average of 245 days or a little over eight months.

“We’re excited about Tara’s pregnancy and the chance to add to the population of this critically endangered species,” Zoo Animal Curator Mark Weldon said.

Only about 15 orangutan babies are born each year in the world’s zoos.

This baby is the second orangutan to be born at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. In 2006, Sayang give birth the first orangutan ever born at the zoo. However, Sayang died after an hour from an unexpected blood clot in her lung.

The zoo is making every effort to prepare for additional issues with the birth. Zoo keepers have an extensive birth management plan.

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