Baby Orangutan Finds Loving Surrogate Mom

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 6 month old orangutan that was rejected by its mother and again by a surrogate, has found someone to raise him. 

    Kecil, a 6-month-old orangutan, has been bonding for nearly a month with his surrogate mom, Maggie, at the Brookfield Zoo in the suburbs of Chicago.

    Kecil never received much attention from his birth mother Yasmin or first surrogate mother, MJ. 

    "Although it has been only a short time and we have a long road ahead of us, we are extremely optimistic due to Kecil and Maggie's progress so far," said Jay Petersen, curator of primates and carnivores for the Chicago Zoological Society. "Maggie is an easy going and gentle orangutan. The two have been together since Kecil's arrival, and Maggie has provided care and attention that he needs to receive from an orangutan."

    Kecil was born January 11 at Ohio'sToledo Zoo. Though Yasmin cared for her previous offspring, she didn't not warm up to Kecil after suffering a difficult birth.

    MJ, the first surrogate mother Kecil was introduced to at Milwaukee County Zoo, responded positively to Kecil in the beginning but didn't bond as well as the animal care staff hoped to see.

    Since it is important to have orangutans raised by other orangutans, the animal care staff at the Milwaukee County Zoo wanted to try another surrogate -- Maggie at Brookfield Zoo. It may be months before Kecil and Maggie will be on display for guests, because the staff want the two to develop their relationship.

    "Kecil seems calm and adaptable to the changing situations in his young life," Petersen said. "The moves don't seem to have fazed him at all. We're hoping that Brookfield Zoo will be his last move for a while."