Blog: Kecil Orangutan

How We Prepared for Kecil - PART 1

Looking back, June 20th was an exciting day for the Asia team and everyone in Tropic World. Kecil, a 5-month-old Bornean Orangutan, was coming from the Milwaukee Zoo to make his home at Brookfield Zoo! But much work had to be done to get ready for his arrival in a short amount of time. The staff from our Nutrition Services department, along with our maintenance department and the primate keepers from both the Milwaukee Zoo and Brookfield Zoo all worked together to make sure everything was ready for Kecil’s arrival.
We corresponded with his primary keeper at the Milwaukee Zoo to learn more about Kecil. Could he move around well enough on his own to come up to keepers to drink his bottle?  What formula was he on and what times were his feedings?  We found out we would need our night keepers to feed Kecil his bottles during the night at 10 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., so we asked our night keepers to begin giving Maggie juice at these times to acclimate her to waking up and coming up to the night keeper during the night. 
Baby Proofing
We also looked at the enclosures Kecil would be staying in and began to ‘baby proof’ them.  We removed all heavy objects from these enclosures to ensure nothing could fall on him. We learned that Kecil was good at climbing up the mesh of the enclosure but had a trouble getting back down. A Plexiglas barrier was added on the inside of the enclosure to prevent him from climbing too high and many fire hose vines were added to aid him in his journeys. We also collected some soft fleece blankets for Kecil’s comfort as well as some baby toys for him to play with.
Now that Kecil’s home was all set, we geared our efforts toward making sure that Maggie was ready for his arrival. Maggie had been living with her companion Brunei, a 23-year-old male prior to Kecil’s arrival. To keep Kecil as safe as possible, the decision was made to separate Maggie from Brunei. Part of the regular husbandry of orangutans at the Brookfield zoo is separation training. Maggie and Brunei were experts at this type of training, so when they were separated it seemed normal.
Read here for Part 2 of How We Prepared for Kecil’s Arrival.

- Tropic World Asia Keepers

Kecil and Maggie

Posted: 11/17/2014 3:23:29 PM by Filed under: Animal Welfare, Kecil, Maggie, Orangutan, SSP, Tropic World

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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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