An endangered Sumatran orangutan was born in New Orleans in a welcome surprise to zookeepers, who had been expecting the newborn around April or May, Reuters reported.
First-time mother Reese, 12, nuzzled the red-haired baby in video released by the Audubon Nature Institute.
The baby, born on Sunday, has yet to be named and veterinarians have not determined its sex, said a spokeswoman for the institute, which runs the local zoo.
The baby’s father, Jambi, arrived from Hannover Zoo in Germany in 2018 and is “classified as one of the most genetically valuable males in North America,” said the institute.
Sumatrans are one of three species of the long-haired orangutan, which means jungle person in the Malay language. Fewer than 14,000 live in the wild as their native habitat in Southeast Asia is threatened by development, mining and palm oil plantations, making the species “critically endangered,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.