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Batang gave birth to a baby boy last night!

by Prince Of Petworth September 13, 2016 at 9:45 am 20 Comments

via the Smithsonian National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

For the first time in 25 years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the birth of a male Bornean orangutan. He was born at 8:52 p.m. Sept. 12. Both 19 years old, female Batang and male Kyle bred in January following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). Primate staff have confirmed the newborn is a male. Animal care staff have observed Batang nursing the infant who has been clinging closely to his mother, and they are cautiously optimistic that the newborn will thrive. The Great Ape House will remain closed to provide Batang a quiet space to bond with her infant.”

  • Anon

    This is simultaneously ridiculously cute as well as ridiculously sad. :-/

  • Cleveland Park runner

    So precious!

  • Duponter

    It will be sadder in 10-15 years when there are almost no orangutans left in the wild (except perhaps on Borneo) because of the rapid destruction of their habitat to make room for palm plantations. I only recently became aware of this issue, reading that it could be as quickly as 10 years before the Sumatran orangutan is extinct in the wild. All so we can use palm oil in products we don’t need and which don’t need palm oil.

    Start looking at the labels on what you buy and try not to buy products with palm oil. It’s horrible for this species and for the environment.

    • Anon

      Thank you for the heads-up! Though, unfortunately, the list of things to avoid due to imminent world destruction is way too high to track.

      • Traveler

        An easy one is peanut butter… get all natural.

      • Duponter

        If you really care and want to read up, here is a handy list of how palm oil is listed on ingredient labels. Sometimes they are allowed to refer to it as vegetable oil, so it is not always easy to distinguish between products that use palm oil or actual vegetable oil. But hey, it’s a good start: http://www.hsi.org.au/editor/assets/Factsheets/The%20generic%20names%20of%20palm%20oil.pdf

        Generally check your food products, but also your hygiene products. It’s used in a lot of makeup, body washes, toothpastes, shampoos, etc.

    • anon

      Since palm oil products can be described in a number of ways, I’m not even sure this is possible to do. It can be listed on packaging as:

      Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palm olein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol, Laureth-7, Steareth-2, Cocamide MEA (fatty acid-derived) Cocamiede DEA (fatty acid derived), Stearamidopropyldimethylamine, Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride, Isopropylmyristate, Caprylic/capric Trigylceride, Fatty Isethionates (SCI), Alkylpolyglycoside (APG), Laurylamine oxide

      • Raya

        As noted above, avoiding palm oil altogether can be difficult. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has developed a free app called “Palm Oil” – it’s available for download and lets you check food and personal care purchases beforehand to ensure that they are “orangutan-friendly” (i.e. use sustainably-sourced palm oil.) They also provide tools available to contact companies that still aren’t on board to let them know that you won’t purchase their products until they change their practices.

        • Duponter

          Awesome. Thanks for this. I had no idea. Helpful.

    • anon

      Still, I’d rather die in the wild than live a life of captivity, providing entertainment to humans.

      • d

        Then quit your job and run free.

        • Anon

          In the jungle, the mighty jungle…

        • anon

          I did, and enjoyed it, and now I’m looking for a job again!

      • Hill Denizen

        I dunno. I would agree with you if we were talking living in cages performing circus tricks, but if you get to be in a habitat that looks like yours with no need to worry about predators, a constant supply of food, and your every need taken care of? Doesn’t sound too bad to me.

        • wdc

          So your jail cell is nicely decorated. Doesn’t change the fact it’s a cell, and you can’t leave. I think that’s probably the case for the birds and small mammals– plenty of food, no predators, sweet life.
          But the higher order primates? They know.

          • Truxtoner

            Yeah, but they may know and be like, sweet deal. Jail sounds terrible to us, but if I had to worry about a giant wild cat eating me and my baby every day or some Indonesian farmer setting my house on fire, I might be okay with the habitat. I get your point though.

      • Anon X

        Yeah, you’re probably right. Who needs animal conservation? We should just sit back and watch as our worlds species are eliminated one by one because we dig anthropomorphism. There are higher callings than pop animal psychology and bigger reasons to do things than whether animals understand the concept of “freedom”. Breeding endangered animals in captivity serves many purposes… None of which involve novelty or circus tricks.

  • Effie

    I think im gonna cry

    • Anon

      That look of utter dejection from the mother … no words

      • none

        Really? A “look of utter dejection?” To me, that’s a look of “I just shoved this thing out of my unmentionables and I am freakin’ tired, man.” But then again, I’m not an orangutan (and I’m guessing you’re not either).


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