It’s A Girl; Mother And Hairy Newborn Both Doing Fine

Mei and her newborn daughter are staying in the zoo's night house to bond. (Cameron Park Zoo photo)

WACO (May 20, 2014) Mei, the Cameron Park Zoo’s 16-year-old female Bornean orangutan, has given birth to a baby girl, the zoo announced Tuesday.

Mei delivered the baby, her first, at 6:06 p.m. Saturday, the zoo said.

The father is Kerajaan, or KJ, a 25-year-old male.

Mother and daughter will remain in the zoo’s night house to bond and the zoo will announced later when the baby will make her public debut.

The baby hasn’t been named yet, but primate staff members have submitted three on which the public may vote with their dollars.

The Malaysian names are Batari, which means goddess; Lestari, which means eternal; and Cahaya, meaning light or radiance.

Information on voting will be posted later this week on the zoo’s website.

“This is a very important birth for the zoo, because orangutans are critically endangered species,” a press release said.

“Habitat loss due to deforestation primarily for palm oil production has devastated the population of orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra.”