Even though Belgium might be a small country, it’s definitely a beautiful place with tons of things to discover, a whole of delicious local food and drinks to try, and a very special country to say the least.
One of the eyecatchers of the European country between The Netherlands and France, is the Pairi Daiza zoo and animal park in Brugelette, Belgium.
It is by far the most beautiful park in the country, and a lot of exotic and unique animals reside there.
Recently, the Pairi Daiza staff was able to make a wonderful announcement: an absolutely adorable baby orangutan was born.
The adorable new baby, a male orangutan who listens to the name Mathaï, has already made rounds around the internet. He was born at the end of November and is a part of a bigger orangutan family at the zoo.
Mom (Sari) and dad (Ujian) already welcomed a sibling, Berani, four years ago, who will now be a baby brother to Mathaï.
Choosing a name definitely isn’t a straightforward process, and all the zookeepers come together to discuss and agree on a name.
While the name Mathaï doesn’t have a specific meaning, the zookeepers definitely didn’t pick this one out at random.
Apparently, the name is a combination of a bunch of different noteworthy people, and being inspired by all these different people indicates that this orangutan is born for greatness. Famous (local) scientists, environmentalists, and mathematicians were thrown into the mix, and somehow Mathaï was the end result.
This actually isn’t the first orangutan family at the Belgian zoo, and there’s actually another orangutan baby on the way!
Gempa and Sinta are the other orangutan couple at the zoo, and they are expecting their very first baby somewhere in 2021. Within just a couple of months, the orangutan population at Pairi Daiza will increase by two members!
Luckily, baby Mathaï has been doing great ever since he was born, and the birth went flawlessly as well.
There were no complications at all, and the little baby ape loves spending time with mom Sari, in particular.
“It’s pretty much eating and sleeping,” Pairi Daiza spokesperson Mathieu Goedefroy told Bored Panda. Our teams are monitoring the whole family closely 24/7 to make sure everything goes well. The signals are very good. Mathaï stays on his mom by holding her hair, opens his eyes every once in a while, and is drinking well. For the first two years of his life, he will stay almost permanently attached to his mom, holding her close.”
Unfortunately, these Sumatran orangutans actually are an endangered species, so every new life counts.
It’s estimated that there are only 14,000 remaining in the wild, and they’re endangered mostly because of illegal hunting operations as well as the destruction of habitat. Luckily, there are organizations out there who do their best to build new habitats through reforestation or try and stop the illegal hunting practices.
In the early years of the baby orangutans life, the zookeepers believe that he’ll be practically inseparable from his mom.
“For the first two years of his life, he will stay almost permanently attached to his mom, holding her close.”
Taking care of an orangutan can definitely be quite a challenge, even for an entire team of zookeepers.
These are extremely intelligent animals, and they love to get attention.
“The biggest challenge with orangutans in specific is their intelligence. We share 97% of our human DNA with these animals, and so they are incredibly sensitive, emotional and intelligent creatures who need attention from their keepers 24/7. We make them toys, we make them riddles and puzzles, we hide their food, etc.”
You can check out some adorable footage of the infant orangutan in the video below.
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