Cameron Park Zoo celebrated the first birthday of its baby orangutan, Razak, by helping a noble cause more than 10,000 miles away.
Zoo officials announced $2,030 was raised for the Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation in Indonesia over the past month. The foundation takes animals from threatened areas of deforestation and relocates them. It also rescues stolen orangutans that are used as pets or sold through illegal wildlife trades.
“We decided that would be a great conservation effort to help celebrate Razak’s first birthday and give back to wild orangutans,” said Terri Cox, programs and exhibits curator at the zoo.
The donations will fund milk for the 23 orangutans currently being rehabilitated through the foundation. Once the primates operate on their own, they are released to a private island, Cox said. Baby orangutans need about three milk bottles per day.
While visiting Cameron Park Zoo, the foundation’s CEO called the milk “liquid gold.”
As for Razak, his development is slightly ahead of schedule, said General Curator Johnny Binder. He weighs 11 pounds.
“He is progressing and he’s acting like he should be,” Binder said. “He’s getting more mobile, getting away from mom a little bit more and more. His climbing skills and agility just continue to increase and develop. He’s doing really, really well.”
He was born Jan. 12, 2017 to Mei, a 19-year-old orangutan at the zoo. Razak’s father is Kerajaan, who is 29. Orangutans live 30 to 40 years in the wild, according to National Geographic, and can live up to 60 years in captivity.
Laura Klutts, a primate keeper, said Razak is nourished through nursing and formula but also eats grapes, bananas, green peppers, corn and lettuce.
At the party, Razak and Mei enjoyed a cake made of high-protein biscuits with a yogurt-based icing and fruits and vegetables. They stayed in Mei’s enclosed area due to the 40-degree weather outside.