Kansas City Zoo announces birth of orangutan whose mother was born at KC zoo 20 years ago

A baby orangutan has joined the Kansas City Zoo, officials announced on Mother’s Day.

The baby, a male Bornean orangutan, was born May 8 to mother Josie, who was also born at the Kansas City Zoo, but 20 years ago. Josie’s mother, Jill, is also still at the Kansas City Zoo, officials said in a news release Sunday.

“Both mom and son appear healthy and are doing well,” zoo officials wrote.

Josie and the baby, whose name has not yet been announced, aren’t currently on exhibit for zoo-goers to view, but will likely be in the public habitat soon, as Josie teaches her baby her orangutan ways, official said.

“Orangutan infants have long-lasting relationships with their mothers, so Josie will spend the next several years showing the new baby vital orangutan skills like how to build nests, where to find food, how to interact with others, and how to use tools to forage,” the release read.

The species is native to the island of Borneo in Asia and is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mainly as the result of deforestation.

The Kansas City Zoo partners with APE Malaysia as part of the CREATE Project, which works to restore habitat in Borneo’s Kinabatangan rainforest, home to numerous species, including the Bornean orangutan.

The project has planted more than 7,000 tree saplings across 38 acres since July 2017, according to the zoo.