A critically endangered Sumatran orangutan at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana, is expecting twins, her first offspring, in December or January, the zoo said on October 21.
This footage released by the Audubon Zoo shows expectant mother Menari in her habitat and a veterinary team performing an ultrasound.
“We are very excited about this pregnancy,” senior veterinarian Bob MacLean said in a press release. “Twinning is extremely rare in orangutans – there is only about a 1 percent chance of this happening.”
The zoo’s staff are leading Menari through daily training and enrichment sessions to prepare her for motherhood, the zoo said.
“As is standard procedure with all primate mothers, Menari’s care staff are working with her to ensure that she will be comfortable with the possibility of staff assisting her with feeding or caring for one or both infants if necessary,” they wrote. “Menari, born at Audubon Zoo in 2009, was hand-raised.”
Sumatran orangutans have been categorized as threatened with extinction, with a declining population of less than 14,000 living in the wild due to “human-wildlife conflict” and the spread of palm oil plantations, according to the zoo. Credit: Audubon Zoo via Storyful