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Zoo welcomes baby Sumatran orangutan

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A baby Sumatran orangutan was born recently at the Denver Zoo.

Named Cerah (Che-rah), which means “bright” in Indonesian and is often used to refer to sunshine, the female animal was born to mom Nias (Nee-uhs) and dad Berani (buhr-AH-nee). Her birth was natural and uneventful, and both mom and baby are in good health, according to a zoo news release. They are behind the scenes to give them time to rest and bond, and to allow zoo staff to make sure Cerah is receiving proper care and nourishment from Nias.

Nias is 29 years old and arrived at the Denver Zoo in 2005. Berani is 25 years old and arrived in 2017.

The two were paired under recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program, which oversees the population management of select species in association member institutions and enhances conservation of those species in the wild. The coupling proved to be a fast success, as Nias and Berani met in July 2017 and conceived Cerah less than a month later.

With a worldwide population estimated at only 14,600, Sumatran orangutans are classified as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

Cerah is expected to make her debut in the next few weeks in the Great Apes exhibit in Primate Panorama.

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