News Release

 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org                                                                        
December 23, 2016
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Note: An image of the Bornean orangutan infant may be downloaded below.
Mother and baby orangutan
 
 

Critically Endangered Orangutan Born at Brookfield Zoo

           
            Brookfield, Ill. – The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, is happy to announce that a Bornean orangutan was born on December 20. The female infant is currently behind the scenes bonding with her mother Sophia, 35, and being monitored by the animal care staff to ensure that she is healthy and meeting crucial developmental milestones. It is expected that zoo guests will be able to see them and the other members of the orangutan family in their habitat at Tropic World: Asia within a few weeks.

This is Sophia’s sixth offspring and the fourth of Ben, the sire. “The birth is significant to the zoo population, but hopefully it will also help raise awareness about the threats facing orangutans in the wild,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal programs for CZS. Orangutans, a critically endangered species, once lived in much of Southeast Asia, but their range and population have been dramatically reduced due to deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and poaching. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Bornean orangutan population has declined by more than 60 percent between 1950 and 2010, and a further 22 percent decrease is projected through 2025.

The Chicago Zoological Society is a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative population management and conservation program for the species. The program manages the breeding of orangutans in zoos to maintain a healthy, self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. The pairing of Sophia and Ben was based on a recommendation by the Orangutan SSP.
 

#      #      #

 
About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

Membership

Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.

Membership

Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.