Audubon Zoo

First Maned Wolf Puppies Born at Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo is excited to announce that four maned wolf puppies were born on January 31, 2022. This is the first-ever maned wolves born at Audubon Zoo on record and the first offspring of female Brisa and male Sheldon, who arrived at the Zoo in August 2021.  

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“Brisa is doing extremely well as a first-time mother,” said Audubon Zoo’s Vice President and General Curator Bob Lessnau. “She is being extremely attentive to her pups and is nursing well. Sheldon is also stepping up to the plate of fatherhood and has been keeping a close eye on the pups.”  

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Baby Bootcamp!

Look at Roux go! Every day, Roux's caretakers give him exercise opportunities to encourage him to build up his grip strength and stamina, which staff have nicknamed "Baby Bootcamp". 💪 🦧

"Baby Bootcamp" involves Roux's caretakers walking, bending, turning, and climbing while he clings on. Roux's caretakers also utilize orangutan climbing equipment including ropes and swings to encourage pull-ups, which is where Roux grips to his caretakers' fingers and is lifted up and down.


Hello! My name is ______!

Thanks to the public's support almost 10,000 individuals participated in Audubon Zoo's orangutan infant naming poll. ICYMI The Zoo went live with a naming reveal this morning!

Audubon Zoo is thrilled to announce that its critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant born on December 24, 2021, has been named Roux. This announcement was made today during a Facebook LIVE on the Zoo’s Facebook page.

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Orangutan Infant Gaining Weight

Audubon Zoo’s orangutan infant is getting stronger and stronger every day. He now weighs 4.9lbs. He’s spending most of his days in the orangutan building getting to meet the rest of the group through visual introductions. The infant's dedicated care team is also giving him more exercise opportunities to encourage him to build up his stamina and grip strength. Naming announcement coming soon!


Video: Newborn Orangutan's Health Continuing to Improve

Audubon Zoo's orangutan infant is continuing to progress in the right direction! His veterinary and care team are very pleased with his improved hydration and how much formula that he is consuming during his feedings. The team has decided that his feeding tube will be removed and that they will monitor him closely for 24 hours to gauge his caloric consumption. He is still slightly weaker than his care team would like, but they believe with his continual weight gain and other positive health advances that his stamina will improve. Audubon's dedicated team continues to work closely with Children's Hospital New Orleans and The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Orangutan Species Survival Plan advisors on next steps for this little warrior. 


Audubon Zoo Consulting With Children’s Hospital New Orleans To Treat Newborn Orangutan

Audubon Zoo’s newborn male orangutan is receiving around-the-clock care by the Zoo’s veterinary and primate care staff under consultation from specialists from Children’s Hospital New Orleans and AZA Orangutan Species Survival Plan advisors.

On December 27, the infant showed signs of weakness and lack of nursing. Based on concerns about the infant’s body temperature and weight, the team intervened to hand-rear and bottle-feed the infant until it can safely be reunited with Menari.   

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“The infant’s care team also noticed that his suckling response was weak and inconsistent,” said Audubon’s Senior Veterinarian Bob MacLean. “Children’s Hospital New Orleans offered their support for the critically endangered infant by providing the expertise of a clinical speech pathologist and lactation specialists. The lactation specialists are working with the infant to assess his suckling reflex and train our team to stimulate the appropriate suckling response. So far, this has been very successful.”  

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Tapir Calf Born at Audubon Zoo is Thriving

The male Baird's tapir calf born at Audubon Zoo on July 2, 2021, is doing well and gaining weight. Born weighing 19.4 pounds, the calf is now up to approximately 31.5 pounds and gaining almost a pound a day. Full grown Baird's tapirs can weigh up to 800 pounds.

Audubon Zoo's three-year-old Baird's tapir Ixchel has given birth to her first offspring, the result of successful breeding with Tybalt, the Zoo's four-year-old male Baird's tapir. Ixchel's male calf was born on July 2, 2021.

Ixchel came to Audubon Zoo from Franklin Park Zoo in 2019 as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan recommendation to breed with Tybalt, who arrived at Audubon in 2018 from Nashville Zoo. Species Survival Plans are collaborative conservation efforts among AZA-accredited institutions that recommend breeding based on genetic compatibility.


Patients at Children’s Hospital New Orleans Name Audubon Zoo’s Infant Orangutan

The patients at Children’s Hospital New Orleans have spoken, and the votes are in. The female Sumatran orangutan infant born in February at Audubon Zoo has affectionately been named “Madu,” which means honey in Malay.

Audubon Zoo partnered with Children’s Hospital to name the newest member of its orangutan group. Staff and patients at the hospital voted for their favorite of a list of three names.  

The three names included:  

Madu - Malay word for honey 

Bani – Indonesian word meaning “children” 

Matahari - Malay word meaning sun 

Children from the hospital exuberantly unveiled the winning name yesterday morning in a celebration at the Zoo. The event took place directly in front of the Sumatran orangutan habitat, so the orangutan group, including the infant and her mother, Reese, attended.  

“Our patients had so much fun being invited to help name Audubon’s baby orangutan,” said President and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans John R. Nickens IV. “Working together with our partners at Audubon, we love being able to bring enrichment opportunities to our patients at the hospital. This is a great example of finding creative ways to work together to deliver a little something extra for our patients and families. We’re so excited to watch the baby grow and thrive for many years to come.”

This infant is Reese’s first offspring and the second infant born at Audubon Zoo to dad Jambi since his arrival from Hanover Zoo in German in 2018. Jambi also fathered Bulan, the female born to orangutan matriarch Feliz in 2019.  

“We were thrilled to have our long-time partners Children’s Hospital New Orleans help us make this big decision,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “Throughout this last year, they have offered immense support that has been essential to the recovery of our attractions.” 

Audubon is committed to helping create experiences that spark action and empower visitors to impact the natural world for the better. The orangutan group at the Zoo serves as ambassadors for their species, teaching guests about the plight of Sumatran orangutans in the wild due to human-wildlife conflict.

Maintaining a genetically diverse population in human care is important because Sumatran orangutans have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “critically endangered” and therefore threatened with extinction—there are fewer than 14,000 living in the wild, and their numbers are declining, mainly due to human-wildlife conflict due to the spread of palm oil plantations into their forest habitat. 

There are currently 95 Sumatran orangutans in human care across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums organizations. 

To help orangutans in the wild, Audubon recommends purchasing products with sustainably grown palm oil. Around the world, those using sustainable practices in logging and agriculture are demonstrating that it is possible to conserve wildlife habitat while supporting the local economy.


Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan Born at Audubon Zoo

Early this morning, animal care staff at Audubon Zoo were welcomed by the arrival of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant. Although early signs and physical changes pointed to an anticipated birth window between April and May, those signs appeared later than normal and the birth happened earlier than expected. 

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Mother and the infant appear to be doing well and are behind-the-scenes to give them time to bond and to allow the Zoo’s veterinary and primate team to care for them. Staff are monitoring the infant’s health closely for any signs of weakness or dehydration. The next 48 hours are critical as the newborn learns to nurse. 

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