Newborn orangutan passes away overnight at Philadelphia Zoo

- Officials from the Philadelphia Zoo announced Tuesday that a Sumatran Orangutan newborn had passed away.

According to the zoo spokesperson, the baby Sumatran orangutan was born Sunday and did not survive despite behaving normally throughout the afternoon and early evening of its birth. 

Zoo officials say the newborn passed overnight. 

“In an initial postmortem examination we identified severe congestion in the newborn’s lungs and a possible congenital heart defect,” said Dr. Keith Hinshaw, Philadelphia Zoo’s Director of Animal Health. “We will likely be able to confirm the exact cause of death after the full necropsy results are available, which will take approximately four to six weeks,” said Hinshaw.

The newborn's mother was 25-year-old Tua and father 22-year-ikd Sugi. The pair has another daughter, Batu, 8, who still lives with her mom and dad at the zoo. There are about 85 other Sumatran orangutans at other zoos around the country.

“Zoo staff and volunteers are saddened by this unexpected loss. With Tua’s parenting skills and the apparently successful delivery, we were optimistic about this birth,” said Dr. Andy Baker, the Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer. “The keepers who work with the orangutans every day are affected deeply themselves, but will also be watching Tua closely for how she reacts to this loss. Animals are individuals, and we don’t know how this will affect her,” said Baker.

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