Showing a Baby Orangutan The Ropes

San Diego, California - Sumatran orangutan Indah showed her 3-month-old daughter the ropes this morning - how to swing on them, that is. Born on October 25, Aisha is Indah's 2nd baby, and true to natural orangutan form, the protective mother is keeping her baby very close. Aside from keeping her baby safe, Indah's close attention gives Aisha a front row seat to her daily routines, which serve as tutorials for the baby ape.

Among this morning's tutorials was how to fashion an x stick into a spoon in order to enjoy her favorite treat, in this case, banana-flavored baby food that the keepers hid throughout the exhibit.

As soon as orangutans are born they instinctively know to tightly grasp onto their mother's hair, where they spend the next few months until the mother feels comfortable enough to let them explore on their own.  This young ape still has a while to go until she ventures out on her own, but for now she seems to be enjoying the ride.

Aisha is the newest member of the orangutan group that calls the San Diego Zoo home, but the number of places these apes can call home in the wild is quickly dwindling, due, in part, to unsustainable palm tree oil production. There are less than 7,000 Sumatran orangutans in the wild, making them a critically endangered species.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the mission of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

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