Every birth is a little miracle, but this was something truly remarkable – rare film of a Sumatran orangutan delivering a baby. And given new mommy Dana’s medical history, the moment was especially poignant to witness. But her already overwhelmed keepers were perhaps not prepared for what happened next, as Dana gathered her newborn up in her long arms and slowly approached them.
The baby orangutan in question entered the world on July 9, 2013, at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s base at Jersey Zoo on the island of Jersey. Then, just three days later, Gordon Hunt, the facility’s head of mammals uploaded to YouTube the footage of Dana giving birth. And the event is a privilege to watch for several reasons – not least because great apes such as Dana are exceptionally rare.
Indeed, Sumatran orangutans can be found on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) “Red List” of critically endangered species; they were also once classed as one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world. Happily, however, IUCN published a survey in March 2016 that revealed some unexpectedly good news.