Entertainment

Fresno's Chaffee Zoo unveiled baby orangutans

Friday, March 18, 2011

The orangutan babies at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo came face to face with Valley residents.

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It's been a long wait, and visitors were excited to meet these little primates.

Peeking out at the world, for the first time Fresno Chaffee Zoo's baby orangutans are seeing young excited faces looking back at them.

With little round eyes, and spiky orange hair, 4-month-old male, Labu whose name means pumpkin, and 3-month-old Ndari whose name means full moon are said to be very much like human infants.

Zookeeper, Shane Spears said, "Just like a human baby, man he could wail, a set of lungs on him."

Lyn Myers said, "Labu just broke his first tooth yesterday."

Assistant Zoo Curator Lyn Myers said there was a lot of preparation behind the scenes, before the baby orangutans were ready to meet the public.

For a short time Labu had to be hand raised because his mother Sara could not produce enough milk to nourish him. Chaffee is the first zoo to help an orangutan use a breast pump.

Myers said, "We used medicine along with breast pumping everyday 2 hours for 24 hours a day for a month in a half, it was crazy."

Rearing involved using special clothing with fur strips.

Zookeeper, Sarah Romberger said, "They really need to learn how to hold on well."

As well as long nights without holidays or weekends off.

Now the orangutans will raise their young who are said to be the future of an endangered species here in the Valley for the next 10 to 12 years.

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fresno, fresno county, chaffee zoo, entertainment, deshaunta bullock
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