A baby orangutan named Kecil is being cheered by zoologists after he and a new surrogate mother, Maggie, were successfully paired at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.
ABC News reported
that baby Kecil, pronounced Ka-cheel, was abandoned by his mother, Yasmin, after he was born in January at Ohio's Toledo Zoo. Yasmin has cared for previous offspring, but for unknown reasons didn't take to her latest. Kecil, which means "little" in Indonesian, was thus put up for adoption.
His new adoptive mother, Maggie, of the Brookfield Zoo, has so far taken very lovingly to Kecil, and hasn't let him out of her sight, said a statement from the zoo issued Monday and posted to Twitter on Wednesday.
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"Although it has been only a short time and we have a long road ahead of us, we are extremely optimistic due to Kecil and Maggie's progress so far," Jay Petersen, curator of primates and carnivores for the Chicago Zoological Society, told NBC Chicago
"Maggie is an easy going and gentle orangutan. The two have been together since Kecil's arrival, and Maggie has provided care and attention that he needs to receive from an orangutan."
Maggie is Kecil's second surrogate mother, as zoologists previously attempted to pair him with another orangutan, MJ, who lived at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Even though that pairing wasn't successful, Kecil's caregivers say he doesn't appear to be any worse for the wear.
"Kecil seems calm and adaptable to the changing situations in his young life," Petersen said. "The moves don't seem to have fazed him at all. We're hoping that Brookfield Zoo will be his last move for a while."
Kecil and Maggie will be kept behind-the-scenes for a few more months in order to give them the chance to fully strengthen their bond before they're released to pens viewable by the public.
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