The Saint Louis Zoo’s new baby Sumatran orangutan doesn’t have a name – yet. But West readers can help change that by participating in an online Name the Baby poll conducted by the Saint Louis Zoo.
The Zoo’s Great Ape care team was asked to select a few potential female names for the baby orangutan, who was born on Dec. 14 to mother, Merah, and father, Cinta, at the Zoo’s Jungle of the Apes. From now through midnight on Jan. 16, readers can vote for their favorite of the following names:
Zoo enthusiasts also can vote in person at the North Entrance Zoo Welcome Desk or by mailing a “Vote for the Baby Orangutan Name” postcard with your name, address and your desired baby name to Name the Baby Orangutan, Saint Louis Zoo, #1 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63110.
Votes will be tallied and the winning name revealed during a baby shower for Merah and the newborn on Monday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m.-noon at Jungle of the Apes.
Zoo visitors are invited to attend the shower. Those wishing to bring a gift to help celebrate the new addition to our orangutan family, can choose from the list of items below which are used in the daily care of the zoo’s orangutans, chimpanzee and gorillas:
• Heavy fleece blankets, sheets, towels
• Paper lunch bags or paper grocery bags
• DVDs – cartoons/nature shows
• Kong toys
• Gift cards: Otto Environmental, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Petco, PetSmart
• Strong plastic cups and bowls
• Jumbo Lego blocks
Both orangutan species, one endemic to Borneo, the other endemic to Sumatra, are highly endangered due to an alarming rate of habitat loss. A global demand for palm oil has resulted in widespread deforestation and subsequent drastic declines in the number of orangutans that survive in the wild.
The Zoo’s WildCare Institute supports Hutan, a grassroots nonprofit organization working to build innovative approaches to conserve orangutan and other wildlife populations in the forests of Sabah. In 1998, Hutan set up the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme, which has long conducted high quality research and conservation activities in Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo.
Named America’s #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year.