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Denver Zoo orangutan Nias expecting second baby; likely due in March

Posted at 11:31 AM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 13:46:50-05

DENVER – The Denver Zoo announced Thursday that Nias – one of the zoo’s Sumatran orangutans – is expecting her second baby.

This will be the fourth orangutan birth at the Denver Zoo.

Zoo staff say they continue to monitor Nias' progress with regular ultrasounds. Based on Nias’ body changes and when she was spotted mating with her partner, Berani, zoo staff expect her to give birth sometime around March. Like humans, orangutans are pregnant for about nine months.

Staff say Nias is doing well and they are providing her with prenatal vitamins and training for where to go and what to do when she goes into labor.

“Nias’ last pregnancy was successful, though it took a lot of effort to help Nias learn to breastfeed,” said Associate Veterinarian Gwen Jankowski. “We are monitoring her closely and are happy with what we see so far in this pregnancy.”

Nias was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1988, later moved to the El Paso Zoo and then came to Denver in 2005. Her first baby, Hesty, was born in 2010. At the time, Hesty was the first orangutan born at the Denver Zoo in 25 years.

Sumatran orangutans are considered endangered and there are fewer than 15,000 of them living in the wild, according to estimates by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.