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Roux the orangutan celebrates 1st birthday at Audubon Zoo this Christmas Eve

1 year 4 months 4 weeks ago Saturday, December 24 2022 Dec 24, 2022 December 24, 2022 12:42 PM December 24, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

NEW ORLEANS - Audubon Zoo is celebrating Roux the orangutan's first birthday this Christmas Eve.

Zoo officials said Roux, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, was born at the zoo a year ago today to Menari, his mom, and Jambi, his dad.

For his first birthday, Roux's family celebrated with a special party filled to the brim with cake, presents and decorations all specially designed to let the apes "explore new material to keep them challenged and engaged in active play," according to the zoo.

Read Audubon Zoo's full statement below:

First birthday celebrations are underway for one adorable youngster at Audubon Zoo this Christmas Eve. 

Roux, a critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan is celebrating his first birthday at the Zoo with toys and activities for his entire extended family.   He was born Christmas Eve 2021 to Mom Menari and father, Jambi. His entire family helped him celebrate during a special party in his honor. The cake, presents, and decorations were all designed and built specially to provide the orangutans with opportunities to explore new materials to keep them challenged and engaged in active play.

"We are thrilled to celebrate Roux’s first birthday. Every birth of an endangered species is one step closer to saving that species," said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. "Seeing Roux with the rest of the orangutans at Audubon is a success story for the species and a tribute to the dedicated professionals who care for him."

For a few weeks after his birth, Roux received round-the-clock human care to give him physical skills needed to successfully join his orangutan family. Once introduced into the group, Roux has continued to grow and thrive and is a favorite of Zoo guests as he clings tightly to his mother as she swings through the exhibit.

Sumatran orangutans have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "critically endangered" and therefore threatened with extinction in our lifetime-there are fewer than 14,000 living in the wild and their numbers are declining, mainly because of human-wildlife conflict due to the spread of palm oil plantations into their forest habitat. 

The orangutan group at the Zoo serves as ambassadors for their species, teaching guests about the plight of Sumatran orangutans in the wild due to human-wildlife conflict. Audubon is committed to helping create experiences that spark action and empower visitors to impact nature and wildlife for the better.

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