Hellabrunn's two orangutan babies are named
The orangutan boys born last autumn have finally been given names: Quentin and Quinn. They were named by their sponsor Emilo coffeehouse in Munich.
Slowly but surely, Quentin and Quinn have both begun to climb out of mum Matra's cuddly arms to explore their enclosure. They venture off with increasing frequency, each striking out on his own. On such adventures they sometimes try a bit of vegetable - after all, big sister Jolie and the other family members seem to think vegetables tastes pretty good.
Almost half a year has gone by since the births of the two orangutan babies - within weeks of each other. Matra gave birth to a healthy boy, Quentin, on 3 October, followed by Jahe who bore a son on 23 October. However, due to her relatively young age and inexperience, Jahe became quickly overwhelmed by the situation. As a result, Matra, who herself is a mother six times over, adopted Jahe's baby who she now takes loving care of alongside her own son. "She's done an amazing job with the two babies in the last few months and never loses her cool," says curator Beatrix Köhler. "Matra has been able to supply both babies with sufficient milk from the start, so that the two boys are now quite strong, and more and more active with each passing day."
It is not uncommon for an orangutan mum to care for multiple babies at the same time. This behaviour is known to occur among orangutans in their natural habitat as well as in zoos. In fact, zoos often find that the most experienced mum in the group also takes care of the other babies. At Hellabrunn, one can clearly see how closely Jahe, the birth mother of Quinn, observes Matra as she performs her maternal duties. This gives rise to the hope that whenever she next gives birth she will be able to raise the baby on her own.
Like all animals born at Hellabrunn in 2016, the two baby orangutans have been given names beginning with the letter Q. The names were chosen by their sponsor Emanuel Clemm, CEO and founder of Emilo coffeehouse in Munich. For Clemm this represents his second animal adoption at Hellabrunn. He previously sponsored the polar bear girl Nela. "Quentin and Quinn, the charming orangutan boys, are our new godchildren. After the enormous pleasure we had with Nela, the polar bear cub, we wanted to strengthen our friendship with the Hellabrunn Zoo, and so Quentin and Quinn have become, so to speak, the youngest members of our friendly Emilo team. We wish the two little ones all the best and many lovely visitors."
Orangutans are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There are only about 14,000 individuals remaining in the wild. Sumatran orangutans are only found in the wild on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, where the population has suffered a dramatic decline due to continual habitat loss. In Indonesia, large swathes of forest are cleared to produce wood for paper production as well as for palm tree plantations for the production of palm oil.
For many years, Hellabrunn Zoo has supported a project by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, which operates a reintroduction station on Sumatra in the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. The aim of the project is the release of Sumatran orangutans into their natural habitat. The ZGF also seeks to promote an eco-friendly economically viable agriculture through various initiatives that allow the communities living around the national park to remain faithful to their traditional way of life.
With the advent of spring, the apes will soon be allowed to venture out into their outdoor enclosure where they love to climb about. But first the weather still has to get a bit warmer: orangutans are used to the tropical temperatures of their homeland and, like us humans, can easily catch cold.
By the way: After a visit to Quentin and Quinn, visitors can stop by Café Mühle in the zoo and enjoy a cup of Emilo coffee.