It's a Girl: Brookfield Zoo Shows Off Baby Orangutan

 A newborn baby is getting a lot of attention.

The Brookfield Zoo's Sophia, a Bornean Orangutan, gave birth to a female on Oct. 6 and the public on Wednesday got their first chance to see her.

Visitors saw the baby girl clinging to her mother, as she'll do for the next 10 months, zoo officials said.

Sophia, now the mother of four, has come a long way since she first arrived at the zoo. Abandoned by her own mother and raised by humans, Sophia had to be taught by Brookfield keepers how to be a mom, an effort that included giving her stuffed animals to care for -- which she initially destroyed, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"The birth of this infant is significant to the zoo population," Nava Greenblatt, lead keeper of primates for the Chicago Zoological Society, told the Chicago Tribune. "Hopefully her birth will also help raise awareness regarding the plight of orangutans in the wild."

About 61,000 orangutans remain in the world, down from more than 120,000 that roamed wild in the early 1990s, Greenblatt said. At the current rate of decline, researchers believe the animals, which share about 97 percent of their DNA with humans, will be extinct by 2025, the newspaper reported.

The unnamed newborn can be seen at the west suburban zoo on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings until about 12:45 p.m.

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