New Baby Orangutan at Saint Louis Zoo

    There’s a new ape in town at the Saint Louis Zoo!
    Baby Forest is a Sumatran Orangutan born on December 22nd, 2023.
    Orangutans are critically endangered so the birth of an orangutan is a really big deal. Females only have about three to four infants throughout their lifetime and the world population is critically endangered.
    Forest’s mother Rubih is a first time mom. Keepers weren’t exactly sure how well she would take to motherhood. So, they gave Rubih a little coaching ahead of time. Using positive reinforcement they trained Rubih to help with her own health and wellness by doing things like using a fetal ultrasound during her pregnancy to make sure the baby was healthy.
    The keepers also used a plush toy to mimic a baby during Rubih’s pregnancy and trained her to hold its head when she picked it up, how to cradle it to her chest for nursing and also to transfer the baby into a special carrier in case the baby needed any medical attention.