Blog: Kecil Orangutan

How much does Kecil weigh?

When he was born, Kecil weighed only three pounds.  Now, he is over 13 pounds!  How do we know this?  Simple – we weigh him.  Well, it wasn’t always that simple. During the first several months of his life when keepers were caring for Kecil, he was weighed daily to make sure he was gaining weight at an appropriate rate.  Now that he has bonded with Maggie, it is a little more challenging.  Maggie will not leave him, so keepers cannot simply pick him up and place him on a scale.  We have a large orangutan-sized scale that we use to weigh all of our adult orangutans every month.  However, Kecil is too little to climb onto this.  A special weighing method had to be developed just for him. 

Have you ever used one of those hanging scales in the produce section at the grocery store?  Did you know that Kecil loves climbing on and hanging from vines?  We thought we could hang a vine from this type of scale to weigh him.  We learned we needed one more thing. Scientists know the orangutans almost always hold one to at least two branches/vines at the same time.  As adults, this helps ensure that the branch won’t break with their weight. Even as an infant, Kecil exhibits this same behavior.  He would not climb on one vine from the hanging scale. When we hang two vines from the scale, he climbs right up!  And this is how we weigh him at least every other week.

- Tropic World Asia Keepers

KLOG Entry - December 15, 2014
We set up the new hanging scale in order to weigh Kecil.  Unfortunately we neglected to move two nearby fire hose vines out of the way.  Kecil ran right over to play with the hanging toys on the hanging scale and climbed up but wouldn't let go of the nearby vines.  Since his weight was not fully on the scale vines, we could not get an accurate weight.  We called to Kecil to try to get him to move away from the fun new toy but he was too involved with playing with it.  Then we asked Maggie to get him and move him over and she did!  She had to pry him off the toy first but she was eventually successful.  Once the extra vines were moved out of his reach, Kecil was easily weighed on the hanging scale.

KLOG Entry – December 20, 2014
Did not nap in the afternoon three days last week.  Unusual.

Adopt Kecil

Posted: 1/5/2015 5:30:27 PM by Filed under: Animal Welfare, Kecil, Maggie, Orangutan

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Kecil Orangutan

Updates on baby orangutan Kecil who arrived at Brookfield Zoo on June 20, 2014 to be introduced to a surrogate mom, Maggie, the zoo’s 53-year-old Bornean orangutan.


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