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New Indianapolis Zoo Babies
During the winter months, it was often difficult to spot a number of the new baby animals at the Indianapolis Zoo. There have been an impressive seven new babies born at the zoo since the end of September.
Unnamed Sumatran Orangutan
On Wednesday, March 23rd, Sirih, an Indianapolis Zoo Sumatran orangutan 23 years of age, gave birth to a baby female. Basan, a 14-year-old Sumatran orangutan, is the father, and this new baby is his first offspring. The newborn has not been weighed yet, but newborn Sumatran orangutans are usually just three or four pounds at birth. In the wild, Sumatran orangutans typically spend 7 to ten years mothering their offspring. Likely, this newborn will spend a lot of time with her mother, as she teaches her how to climb and interact with her environment. Currently, this newborn orangutan spends a majority of her time attached to her mother’s back.
Kopi is a brand new white-handed gibbon, born to mother Koko and father Elliot on October 23rd of last year. Kopi means “coffee” in Indonesian, a perfect description of Kopi’s color. This newborn is the first offspring of both Koko and Elliot. Kopi, Koko and Elliot have spent a majority of winter indoors. White-handed gibbons are most familiar with warmer climates. Zoo guests will get a great look at Kopi as the weather continues to warm.
Cato and Cashmere
Born on October 13th, Cato and Cashmere are the first meerkats ever born at the Indianapolis Zoo. The pups, a male and a female, are named after characters from The Hunger Games. Their mother, Rue, and their aunts, Katniss and Prim, are also named after characters from the famous book franchise. These two meerkats are the newest members of the Deserts section of the Indianapolis Zoo. With the births of Cato and Cashmere, the Indianapolis Zoo now has a total of seven meerkats.
Mshangao, which is Swahili for “amazement” or “surprise,” is a beautiful reticulated giraffe that was born on January 9th. There was a poll involving 4,000 votes to choose his name. He is the first reticulated giraffe to be born at the Indianapolis Zoo since 2011. Takasa, Mshangao’s 18-year-old mother, has had five other calves before Mshangao. Newborn reticulated giraffes are remarkably mature after birth. Generally, they are able to stand up and nurse from their mother within an hour of their birth.
Enzi, Mashaka and Sukari
Perhaps the most famous new babies at the Indianapolis Zoo, Enzi, Mashaka and Sukari are three lion cubs that were born on September 21st. Enzi and Mashaka are males, while Sukari is a female. The mom, Zuri, and the father, Nyack, are first-time parents. Zuri was just nine years old when she delivered the triplet cubs. Lions have been birthed at the Indianapolis Zoo before, but there has not been a litter since 2003. Like Mshangao, the public helped decide the names of the new lion cubs. Enzi and Mashaka mean “powerful” and “troublemaker,” respectively. Sukari, on the other hand, means “sweet.”
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