The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Baby Orangutan, Kalijon Has a New Orangutan Mother

By Julie Neemeyer

Kansas City, MO - Kalijon, a wide-eyed baby orangutan with crazy red hair standing straight atop her head, was born on April 24 and hand-raised by humans for five months. Recently introduced to Jill, a 33 year old orangutan has warmly taken Kalijon as one of her own, holding her close to her chest, presenting her to Zoo keepers for feedings and being very attentive. Jill will be nurturing Kalijon on exhibit starting this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, Jill and Kalijon will be exhibit in the orangutan sun room for public viewing from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Then, the loving pair will be off exhibit during the week to get to know, Josie, Jill’s 7-year old daughter. If all goes as planned, the three-some will be back in the sun room doing as orangutans do again for the weekend, October 10 and 11 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Raising primates is a delicate, 24/7 process; Zoo keepers and other trained staff wore fur covered vests that Kalijon gripped as though it was her mother. She was fed formula every four hours or so, groomed and exercised daily. A carefully planned process kept her in close proximity with other orangutans to ignite the smells and sights of her soon to be family. As Kalijon grew, so did her curiosity; she was shown to Jill and the other orangutans; she shared enrichment items, and slowly, a relationship began. Jill’s motherly instincts gave way and her and Kalijon bonded.

These bonds between orangutans are extremely important because much of their behavior is learned by watching, experiencing and examining. Jill will demonstrate her mom-skills to her older daughter Josie to prepare her for her own baby someday.

Orangutans are the only Asian representative of the great apes. Although their range once extended throughout Southeast Asia, it is now found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The Kansas City Zoo’s Borneon Orangutans are a part of the Species Survival Program (SSP). The SSP's goal is to achieve self-sustaining populations of orangutans that can continue to serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts and their habitat, as well as a resource for conservation education and research.

Kansas City Zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Regular Daily Admission is $10.50 for adults, $9.50 for seniors and $7.00 for children ages 3-11.
And, as always, Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) members are free.
FOTZ Memberships are on sale; family memberships are only $75.
Call (816) 513-5800, or visit our web site for more information.

To view Kansas City Zoo's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to:


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