Your Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth of Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan!
This is the second offspring for twenty-nine-year-old Sekali, who gave birth to her son, Kembali, in 2006, and the first offspring for Budi, a fifteen-year old male. Both Sekali and Budi were born at the Toronto Zoo and were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). Participating in this SSP, coupled with direct support of conservation work in Sumatra, is part of the Toronto Zoo’s commitment to ensure this critically endangered species will survive for future generations. The Toronto Zoo currently houses the only Sumatran orangutans in Canada and, as part of the AZA Sumatran Orangutan SSP, thirteen orangutans have been raised at your Toronto Zoo since 1974.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome this new addition to the Toronto Zoo family” said Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “This orangutan baby is an important contribution to a genetically healthy Sumatran orangutan population in human care. Meanwhile, Sumatran orangutans are under increasing pressure in the wild due to habitat loss and the palm oil crisis, which we are working with partners to address. We are proud to play an important role in the conservation of this amazing species.”
The newest addition to the Toronto Zoo Sumatran orangutan family is most timely, as the new outdoor orangutan habitat is in its finishing stages and is expected to open later this year. With the expanded space, supported by generous donations through the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy, the growing orangutan family will have more choice in their daily activities: they can stay inside to enjoy their familiar space, go outside to experience a wider range of sights and sounds, and travel around on special overhead lines to areas outside the new habitat. The new space will enrich the daily lives of the orangutans here at your Toronto Zoo, and has been designed to share the issues facing these critically endangered apes and inspire actions that people can do each and every day to help their survival in the wild.
In 2017, the conservation status of Sumatran orangutans was upgraded from Endangered to Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN). Today, fewer than 15,000 Sumatran orangutans can be found in the wild. Approximately 95% of these orangutans live in the Greater Leuser Ecosystem on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and your Toronto Zoo actively supports conservation work for orangutans and other species in this fragile habitat. The world has lost an estimated 120,000 orangutans in the past decade, primarily due to habitat loss. Every day, acres and acres of the Sumatran rainforest – the orangutan’s natural habitat – is removed to make way for oil palm plantations.
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The Toronto Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction and our vision is a world where wildlife and wild spaces thrive.
An iconic tourist attraction and Conservation organization, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day including December 25 and attracts approximately 1.2 million guests each year.
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