The breed is said to be one notch above extinction in the wild, underscoring the importance of captive-breeding programmes.
A newborn orangutan at the southern Spanish zoo has brought cheer not only to the delighted crowds but also the conservationists, who are striving to protect the critically-endangered apes.
Born on August 4, the newborn clung tightly to her mother Suli, who clambered around her enclosure deftly catching pieces of fruit thrown to her by onlookers – who looked at the tiny being with glee.
“She’s like a little jewel for conservation and another contribution to the captive breeding programme in European zoos,” head keeper at the zoo Antonio Garrucho, told ‘Reuters’.
The World Wildlife Fund considers orangutan to be critically endangered as their populations have halved over the past century – as their natural habitats in the lowland forests of Indonesia have been cleared for logging and to make way for palm oil plantations.
The breed is said to be one notch above extinction in the wild, underscoring the importance of captive-breeding programmes. And the new baby, which has yet to be named, is the only one to be born in the European breeding scheme in the past 12 months, according to the zoo.
“The rate of forest destruction on the island (of Borneo) is very high, due to the extraction of raw materials, wildfires and desertification,” Garrucho said.
“Climate change is having a huge influence and human beings are accelerating it,” Garrucho added.
A wildlife park in Spain welcomed a baby Bornean orangutan, exciting visitors and conservationists alike. The species is critically endangered as Bornean orangutan populations have declined by more than 50% over the last 60 years, largely due to habitat destruction. pic.twitter.com/t6abu3s1dL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 18, 2021