The Toledo Zoo has announced the birth of a baby orangutan, Fajar, who arrived on October 12, 2019. It has been a long road for the baby, whose name (appropriately) means “start of a new day.” He was diagnosed shortly after birth with umbilicus when zoo staff members noticed his placenta was still attached. In order for staff to treat the infection, Fajar had to be cared for and held 24/7 for six months, all while allowing monitored, distant bonding with Fajar’s mother, Leela. On April 6, mother and baby were finally allowed to spend a night alone together, and they are continuing to bond and build a healthy relationship.
“Fajar’s story is a true testament to the passion, love and work ethic of our animal care team, specifically the great apes’ staff. They stepped in and cared for this new baby just like parents. They worked around the clock, stuck to a feeding schedule, changed diapers and even wore him in a baby sling while they worked to ensure proper strength and form for him to hold on just like in the wild. Successfully reuniting mom and baby was always the goal, and we could not be prouder of our team and the new orangutan family,” said Suzanne Husband, associate curator of mammals.