Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Baby Boom Continues with Orangutan Birth

June 7, 2018

— Baby Sumatran orangutan is the third offspring for Sumagu —

Colorado Springs, CO – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a baby Sumatran orangutan, born at 9:28 p.m. last night. The baby is the third offspring for 30-year-old mom, Sumagu (soo-mah’-goo), and 27-year-old dad, Baka (bah’-kuh).

Mother and baby are in their regular exhibit in Primate World, which will be open for guests. Depending on where Sumagu decides to spend time, she and the baby may or may not be visible to guests.

Mother and baby appear to be healthy and bonding well, so the Zoo’s staff has not intervened to determine the sex of the baby or any other details. The baby was clinging strongly to Sumagu within minutes after birth. Sumagu came over to animal and vet staff to take some fruit, and they could tell she had done a great job cleaning the baby up quickly. She then spent some time rearranging her nest after the birth. The pair have also been observed successfully nursing.

Sumagu’s two previous offspring were both males – Makan, born in January 2003 and Godek, born in February 2009. Both of them now make their homes at other Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos.

The Zoo’s last orangutan born was Bornean orangutan Ember, who is now 3 1/2 years old. Orangutans are pregnant for an average of 245 days, or a little over eight months.

In the wild, orangutan fathers do not usually participate in raising offspring, but they tend to do well in zoos where there isn’t competition for food and mates. Baka revealed great fatherly instincts with his previous two offspring. Staff are hopeful this will be the case with this new little one, but just to be sure, he will be kept separated from mom and baby for a short time.

Sumagu and Baka’s wild Sumatran orangutan counterparts are critically endangered. Non-sustainable palm oil production is fueling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction. Found in cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, shampoo, lotions, cosmetics, pet food and many other products, palm oil is now the most widely produced edible oil.

You can help Cheyenne Mountain Zoo make a difference in this crisis by choosing the products you buy carefully using our sustainable palm oil shopping app. The app helps consumers make responsible decisions about the food and health/beauty products purchased every day – just scan a product in the app, and it will tell you how that company is doing with using responsibly sourced palm oil for their products. To download the app, or to learn more about the palm oil crisis, visit


About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s ONLY mountain zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s hope that guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 230 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just nine operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues and donations for funding.

For further information, contact:
Jenny Koch, Marketing Director
719.424.7814 (office)
719.205.7430 (text)
[email protected]