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Brookfield Zoo successfully pairs orangutan baby, surrogate mom

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST
Caption
Orangutans, 6-month-old Kecil and 53-year-old Maggie, pose as the Brookfield Zoo's successful surrogate pair. Photo provided.
Caption
53-year-old Maggie was paired together with 6-month-old Kecil to help the baby Orangutan survive at Brookfield Zoo. Photo provided.

BROOKFIELD – There's no monkey-ing around when it comes to the care of the new 6-month-old Orangutan and his surrogate mom at Brookfield Zoo.

Kecil, who arrived at the zoo June 20, even sleeps in the arms of Maggie, the zoo's 53-year-old Bornean orangutan.

The 6-month-old orangutan was originally born at Ohio's Toledo Zoo Jan. 11. After a difficult birth, Kecil's mother Yasmin, showed little interest in caring for him. After months of trying to have the two bond together, the team at the Toledo Zoo decided it would be best for Kecil to find a surrogate mom at another zoo.

Kecil was moved, at 4 months old, to Milwaukee County Zoo, where he was to be paired with a surrogate named MJ. When the pair's progress plateaued, Kecil was moved again to the Brookfield Zoo.

After being given a brief physical examination, Kecil was taken to an off-exhibit area where he was introduced to Maggie. Since being paired together, the two are playing together and bonding positively, according to a Brookfield Zoo press release. Kecil is even sleeping in the nook of Maggie's arms.

In an effort to give the two time to bond and form a relationship, it will be many months before Zoo guests are allowed to see the Orangutan pair.

Until the exhibit is open for viewers, the public can follow the keeper journal at www.czs.org/Kecil. The journal will have periodic updates, photos and videos of Kecil and Maggie.

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