ATLANTA (AP) — Zoo Atlanta is adopting an 8-month-old orphan orangutan from an Indiana children’s zoo, officials said Tuesday.
Dumadi (pronounced doo-MOD-ee) is expected to arrive Wednesday and will be given to 25-year-old female Madu, who has been a surrogate mother to another orphan in the Atlanta zoo’s 10-member orangutan family. Dumadi was orphaned last year at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo when his mother died an hour after giving birth to him, likely from a blood clot.
Zookeepers in Fort Wayne were unable to find a female adult there to take the infant, and asked other U.S. zoos to help. Zoo Atlanta was selected because of its large orangutan population and experience in connecting adoptive mothers with orphaned apes.
‘‘While we’re sad to see him go, we know this is the best possible situation for Dumadi,’’ Mark Weldon, zoo animal curator of Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, said in a news release. ‘‘We want him to be raised by orangutans, not by humans.’’
Zookeepers in Atlanta will slowly introduce Dumadi to Madu in coming weeks after the infant adjusts to his new surroundings. The pair will be available for public view in about a month, officials said.
Dumadi’s transfer was arranged before the Monday euthanization of 29-year-old orangutan Hati, who suffered from chronic kidney failure.
About 8,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild in their native Indonesia, and experts predict the species could be extinct in less than 20 years because of loss of habitat. About 90 Sumatran orangutans live in zoos across the U.S. as part of a cooperative program.
Zoo Atlanta has the largest collection of great apes in the country, including 23 western lowland gorillas and 10 orangutans.