Monkey World is excited to share that one of the first members of its orangutan crèche, Hsiao-Ning, has become a mother herself! Hsiao-Ning, meaning triumphant, was born at Monkey World to Bornean orangutans RoRo and Tuan, but as RoRo had been smuggled from the wild as an infant, and not raised by her mother, she lacked the parenting knowledge to care for her child. Hsiao-Ning had to be hand reared by keepers, before moving into the specially designed orangutan crèche. The crèche allowed Hsiao-Ning to grow up with a female adult, and other youngsters to learn all the social, as well as physical skills she would need in life. In 2012, as an adult she moved to Rostock Zoo in Germany to be with a young male of her own age, where she has now given birth to a healthy baby girl.
Hsiao-Ning is a Bornean orangutan, which are critically endangered in the wild, and her infant is the first child to be born to a member of the crèche. Hsiao-Ning is proving to be an attentive and caring mother, and all signs point to that she will raise her child naturally.
Monkey World director Dr Alison Cronin says “The European Crèche for Orphan Orang-utans started at Monkey World in 2005 and since then we have provided a home to nine orphaned orang-utans from seven different countries. Hsiao-Ning has proved to be an excellent mother and we are hopeful that all the other “girls” in the Orang-utan Crèche, such as our most recent arrival Mimi from Moscow Zoo, will also go on to be good mothers”
Hsiao-Ning raising her child is an important first step in breaking the cycle of orphaned orangutans abandoning their own offspring, and as Hsiao-Ning’s mothering skills attest, Monkey World’s orangutan crèche appears to be a success!