August 30, 2019

Jumping for Jaya

Denver Zoo Welcomes New Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan to Primate Panorama


Starting today, you might notice an exciting new resident when you stop by Great Apes in Primate Panorama. Jaya, an 11-year-old Sumatran orangutan, recently arrived from Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minn. as a mate for Eirina, age 12, at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Animal care staff report that Jaya and Eirina are already getting along very well, and, with any luck, will make a valuable addition to the dwindling population of their critically endangered species in the future.

Jaya made history when he was born in 2007 via emergency cesarean section at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Shortly after his birth, Jaya went into respiratory arrest and veterinarians had to use CPR to resuscitate him. After 11 days of 24-hour care, Jaya was healthy enough to be reunited with his mother, Marsika, becoming the first successful reintroduction of an orangutan infant born via c-section to a first-time mom. Today, Jaya is thriving, and described as a highly social animal who loves enrichment and interacting with his care team. You’ll notice him by his billy goat-style beard and exceptionally long limbs.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered with only about 9,200 left in the wild. Their primary threats include habitat loss due to logging, forest fires and timber clearing for agriculture (including palm oil plantations) and human settlements. Orangutans are also hunted and killed for bush meat, and captured for the illegal pet trade. Although international efforts are underway to try to protect the remaining few orangutans, if current trends continue, the species may be extinct in the wild within a decade. You can help protect Sumatran orangutans at home by purchasing sustainable wood and palm oil products. Download the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app to help make orangutan-friendly choices.

Guests are welcome and encouraged to visit Jaya and learn more about Sumatran orangutans in the Great Apes habitat in Primate Panorama. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates on Jaya, Eirina and the rest of our orangutan clan!


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