BioPark baby Bulan named for lunar eclipse - Albuquerque Journal

BioPark baby Bulan named for lunar eclipse

Newly named baby orangutan Bulan clings to his mother Sarah at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. Bulan was born May 15. Zoo staff reports that mother and baby are both doing fine. (Courtesy of the New Mexico BioPark Society)

The male baby Sumatran orangutan born May 15 at the ABQ BioPark Zoo has a name: Bulan.

Bulan, in the Indonesian language, means lunar eclipse or blood moon, according to a Friday announcement from the BioPark Zoo. It’s a reference to the celestial phenomenon that occurred the night the ape was born.

bright spot logoThe new baby is the fifth offspring born to mother Sarah, 38, and her mate, Tonka, 42. He joins older sister, Pixel, who was born in 2014. The orangutan habitat is also home to Rubi, 28, an unrelated female.

The BioPark’s primate team reports that Bulan is doing just fine and gaining healthy weight every week; and, while Pixel continues to pester Mom to let her play with him, Mom remains very protective.

The other offspring born to Sarah and Tonka are now living in different zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as part of a species survival plan for maintaining a genetically diverse breeding population.

The World Wildlife Fund classifies Sumatran orangutans as “critically endangered,” with about 7,500 living in the wild.

The primary threat to their existence is the loss of their native forest habitat through logging and the accompanying loss of native food sources.

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