Paris welcomes rare birth of endangered orangutan

Associated Press

Paris – An endangered Bornean orangutan has been born in a downtown Paris zoo – the first born there since 2005.

The Jardin des Plantes Zoo says that Java, a female, was born on Oct. 17. It says in a video posted on Twitter that Java’s mum, 30-year-old Theodora, is taking care of her third daughter with “much gentleness.”

“It certainly is an exceptional event,” said Dylan Duby, the zoo veterinarian. “Orangutans bring up a very few number of babies, three or four maximum in their entire life for a female orangutan. Each birth is very important.”

Java is the fifth orangutan at the Jardin des Plantes. Her father, Banggi, was born in 2006 in Spain and Java is his first baby.

The zoo said orangutans in the wild have experienced sharp population declines in recent years and lost 80 percent of their natural habitat.

“We think there are about 50,000 Bornean orangutans, maybe a bit less,” said Michel Saint Jalme, the zoo’s director. “The population has decreased 50 percent in the past ten years.”

Visitors can already see Java with her mother at the zoo.