Indianapolis Zoo welcomes first baby orangutan born at new exhibit

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Zoo marked a historic occasion Wednesday: The birth of the first baby at its new orangutan center.

The Sumatran orangutan was born at 5:07 p.m. Wednesday at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center.

WATCH | Video shows orangutan center construction

The zoo said the mother, 23-year-old Sirih, and baby were both health.

"Sirih is doing everything an orangutan mom should do and baby has a tight grip," the zoo said in a press release.

The other orangutans in the exhibit reportedly "watched the entire birth very intently and were quiet and curious during and after the delivery."

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE ORANGUTANS IN THE EXHIBIT

 “This baby orangutan gives us special reason to be joyful.” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, executive vice president and zoo director. “We are thrilled for the many visitors who will care more deeply for orangutans and their conservation by watching the baby grow, learn and thrive. Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered in the wild with only thousands left.” 

Sirih will spend the next seven-to-10 years bringing up the baby.

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