We are celebrating the birth of a baby orangutan!

Director´s view

Miroslav Bobek  |  17. 11. 2020

Statement from Prague Zoo’s director, Miroslav Bobek, on the birth of a baby Sumatran orangutan:

Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

I had a feeling something was afoot. I set off for the zoo this morning – and shortly after I arrived at the office, I received word that the female Sumatran orangutan, Mawar, had started to give birth. At half past twelve, the baby was born. So, the third orangutan to be born at Prague Zoo was born on a bank holiday.

For the 31-year-old Mawar, this was her fourth child, for the 19-year-old Pagy, it is his first. At the same time, the new-born would have been the first grandchild of our famous Kama (1971–2013). He was also born in Prague, to parents who had come from the wild. Although Kama was raised artificially – his keeper Mrs. Gottfried, even pushed him around in a pram – he had two sons: Filip, who lives in Bratislava, and Pagy, who became a father today. Yes, I admit that it's convoluted, but this pedigree is of import: this new-born is the only great-grandchild of orangutans who came to the zoo from the forests of Sumatra, therefore, genetically, he or she is extremely valuable. I dare say he or she is possibly the most valuable in Europe.

Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooPhoto: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

The first photograph of the baby, not yet dried, was taken shortly after birth by the head keeper Martin Vojáček, on his mobile and at a distance. In the afternoon, however, the orangutans – including Mawar and the baby – left the “bedrooms” for the exhibition space in the Indonesian jungle. Standing on the gallery in the fading autumn light, it was possible to take the first pictures of our new orangutan, between the mesh and the plants. The baby has already started drinking and Mawar is taking good care of him, at least for now, whilst shooing away her older daughter, the highly inquisitive Diri.

Hopefully everything will turn out well and November 17 will be a double holiday for us. It would be a great success for our keepers as well as for Prague Zoo in general.