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Critically endangered orang-utan born at Paignton Zoo

In late October, Paignton Zoo revealed the exciting news that they had welcomed a male baby orang-utan. Mother and baby have been off-show to visitors whilst they settle in and bond but now they both can be seen by visitors in their Ape House.

The baby was born to mother Chinta, a 32-year-old Bornean orang-utan, and father Wousan who is 14 years old, on 24 October 2022.

Clare Rugg, Head of Conservation Services, said: “Mum and baby are doing well and we are delighted that visitors will now be able to see them in their enclosure.”

Paignton Zoo’s keeper team have been monitoring Chinta’s pregnancy over the past few months and were delighted with the safe arrival, bringing the total number of orang-utans that call Paignton Zoo home to four.

Bornean orang-utans are critically endangered in the wild, making this birth even more special for Paignton Zoo, which is part of the conservation charity Wild Planet Trust. The main threat to orang-utans today is the loss of habitat due to unsustainable palm oil production, illegal logging and agriculture. Hunting and capture for the pet trade are also significant threats.

Paignton Zoo is involved in a European breeding programme for the species to help boost the population. They are also proud to only sell products in their restaurant and shop that contain sustainable palm oil, which is grown by reusing already deforested land rather than clearing new areas. Paignton Zoo, along with their sister zoo Newquay Zoo, are on a mission to raise awareness about sustainable palm oil and they believe that we can all make a difference by choosing products that include this over regular palm oil. The birth of this baby is a great reminder of the importance of the species in the wild, and why we need to continue to protect them.

You can sponsor an orang-utan at Paignton Zoo by clicking here, with packages starting at just £35.