Critically endangered Sumatran orangutan born at Belgian animal park

Image Source: Pairi Daiza

The Pairi Daiza animal park in Belgium recently welcomed the birth of Mathai, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan.

The male orangutan was born to his father Ujian and mother Sari on 28th November. He also has one sibling – a 4-year old brother Berani, who was the only other orangutan born in the animal park.

Image Source: Pairi Daiza

Mathai’s life expectancy is about 45 years. He will live with his family until the age of 10, which is the age when these orangutans attain adulthood and will find a female partner. This is when scientists and experts from the European Endangered Species Program will analyze Mathai’s DNA and find him the most suitable match.

“That way, we ensure a healthy offspring with the best possible genetic qualities, and thus maximizing the odds of survival for the species,” said spokesman of the Pairi Daiza animal park Mathieu Goedefroy.

The Pairi Daiza park is also funding reforestation projects to help increase the number of orangutans in their home country of Indonesia. As part of this initiative, it funded more than 11,000 new trees on the island of Borneo.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are just about 14,000 Sumatran orangutans in the world. Their habitats have been threatened by human interference and forest fires.

Aren’t the pictures of Mathai adorable? Do you agree? Let us know what you think of Mathai in the comments section below.

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