Animals

Meet Dira, Tampa’s Newest (and Cutest) Baby Orangutan

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Back in December 2017, the Lowry Park Zoo welcomed an early Christmas present: Holly Berry, the adorable (and rare) baby pygmy hippo. And to ring in the new year, the zoo is again celebrating another birth! Dee Dee, a Bornean orangutan, gave birth to a three-pound baby girl named Dira on January 6, 2018, and she is quite the cutie. The zoo confirmed Dee Dee was pregnant during an ultrasound in October 2017, marking baby number five for Dee Dee and baby number three for dad Goyang.

“Dee Dee continues to do well with her female baby. As an experienced mother, she didn’t show any signs of any possible issues. We determined that Dee Dee’s baby had turned during one of her regular ultrasound exams,” said Ray Ball, DVM, the zoo’s vice president of medical sciences. “Careful monitoring and pre-natal care are important, but so is privacy. With veterinary medicine, the baby determines the day of birth, but the mom determines the time. With no signs of a high-risk pregnancy, we let her take care of the labor naturally — she determined when it would be time to deliver her baby.”

As was the case for little Holly Berry, the zoo is excited about the birth of a new Bornean orangutan because it increases the overall number of this endangered species. Right now, the zoo houses seven endangered orangutans. This latest addition brings the total number of Bornean orangutans born at Lowry Park Zoo to 10. Lowry Park Zoo opened Baby’s habitat for viewing on January 11, so if you’re a Florida resident or you just so happen to be in Tampa, stop by the zoo for a glimpse of the baby Bornean orangutan!

For those who can’t make it to the zoo, keep scrolling to see more cute photos of mom and baby.

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