Toronto Zoo reveals baby orangutan’s name
The Toronto Zoo has announced the name of one of its newest members.
A baby Sumatran orangutan boy has been named Wali, which means guardian in Indonesian.
The zoo says its name is apt because “Sumatran orangutans are guardians of the rainforests.”
“Wildlife keepers came up with some wonderful names, but one of those suggestions emerged as the big winner, and we’re thrilled to introduce Wali!” the zoo said in a press release on Friday. .
The zoo held a baby name reveal party on Friday, which also marks World Orangutan Day.
Toronto Zoo CEO Dolf DeJong was present at the celebration, along with Indonesian Consulate Consul General Dyah Lestari.
In photos from the event, Wali’s mother, Sekali, 29, is seen lifting a box and revealing the name of her little one.
Shortly after Wali was born on April 8, 2022, the zoo held a name-guessing campaign for the public to come up with suggestions.
“Thousands of people have participated in our name-guessing campaign, and it’s wonderful to include our community in these milestones,” DeJong said in a statement. “The birth of a Critically Endangered orangutan is an important contribution to a genetically healthy Sumatran orangutan population in human care, and his name represents the crucial fight that orangutans face in the wild are currently facing.”
The zoo says there were around 240,000 orangutans in the wild 10 years ago and only around 120,000 remain today.
“With more than half the population extirpated in just 10 years, the threat of extinction is very real. palm oil,” the zoo wrote.
Wali is Sekali’s second child, but her first with Budi, a 16-year-old male orangutan, with whom she was paired on the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and the Aquariums Orangutan Species Survival Plan.
The Toronto Zoo is home to the only Sumatran orangutans in Canada.
The zoo is also in the final stages of completing its new outdoor orangutan habitat, which is expected to be open by spring 2023.
The zoo says the new habitat will allow orangutans to experience “a wider range of sights and sounds, and to travel on special air lines to areas outside of the new habitat.”
With files from Katherine DeClerq of CTV News Toronto