Finally, a peek at Pongo!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Guests may get a glimpse as the infant orangutan and his mother Blaze make trips outside
Beginning this week, Zoo Atlanta visitors could be treated to a peek at the city’s most talked-about baby redhead. Pongo, the 3-month-old infant Sumatran orangutan born to Blaze on January 10, is now making occasional trips into his outdoor exhibit with his mother.
The Animal Management Team has begun allowing the pair access to the habitat when weather and temperatures permit; lucky guests may enjoy sightings of the duo as they continue their latest adventure together.
Followed with interest and encouragement by thousands of fans on social media, the story of Blaze and Pongo is the Zoo’s most heartwarming success story of 2013. First-time mother Blaze initially had to learn to develop maternal skills following her son’s birth by Caesarean section in January. For more than two months, the newborn received round-the-clock nursery care from a dedicated team of Zoo staff and volunteer nurses from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta while animal care professionals worked to introduce Pongo to his mother. After several weeks of consistent daily introductions, Blaze and Pongo began living together full-time in late March and have been bonding ever since.
Zoo Atlanta is home to North America’s largest zoological collection of orangutans, with 13 individuals. Lori Perkins, the Zoo’s Vice President of Collections, is the national Chair of the Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP).
Fans can follow Pongo’s adventures on the Orangutan Baby Updates blog on zooatlanta.org/orangutan_baby_updates and on weekends on Facebook. A word to visitors out there: If you see Blaze and Pongo on exhibit, don’t be stingy with your photos! Share them on the Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter.