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Third orang utan birth at Semenggoh

KUCHING, 13 Feb 2009: It was a record of sorts when a third baby orang utan was  born within a week at the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre here, home to numerous baby orang utan born in the semi-wild to rehabilitated mothers.

The latest addition to its orang utan baby boom was a female, with the birth taking place in the wild in the centre sometime around 9 Feb while another two were born at the Matang Wildlife Centre here on 3 Feb.

The mother, Delima, was last seen on Thursday and showed up this morning with a healthy baby, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation said in a statement here.

“The yet-to-be named baby is estimated to weigh 1.5kg. The estimated date of birth is based on the fact that the umbilical cord is already detached and this usually happens within two days of giving birth,” the statement says.

Delima previously gave birth to Annuar, a male in 1999 and Selina, a female, in 2004.

To date there are 25 orang utan in the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, of which 14, including the latest addition, were born at the reserve.

Established in 1975, the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is located within the boundaries of the reserve, about 24 km from here.

The centre has been a resounding success, caring for almost 1,000 endangered mammals, birds and reptiles from dozens of species.

The statement said, however, that it was the orang utan rehabilitation programme that has made the centre famous.

As a result of its success, Semenggoh’s role has changed and it is now a centre for the study of orang utan biology and behaviour as well as a safe and natural haven for dozens of semi-wild orang utan, graduates of the rehabilitation programme, it added.

A visit to Semenggoh is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – a chance to see semi-wild orang utan, ranging from tiny infants and boisterous adolescents to dignified mature adults, enjoying life in a secure natural habitat. — Bernama


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