WASHINGTON - There's a new baby on the way at the National Zoo, and the announcement came Tuesday in a most unique way: a live ultrasound on Facebook! Borean orangutan Batang will be a mom for the first time, the zoo said.
Batang and Kyle, another 19-year-old Borean orangutan, bred in January. The pregnancy marks the first time in 25 years that the Zoo is making preparations for the birth of the endangered species. The zoo did a live ultrasound on Facebook
to announce her pregnancy, and they say they will provide updates on her condition weekly on social media using the hashtag #orangutanstory.
WATCH THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT HERE:
The zoo said in a release Tuesdsay that a February 2 test confirmed Batang had conceived successfully. So far, zoo veterinarians say her ultrasounds have shown fetal growth and development, increasing hopes that Batang will give birth for the first time successfully. They say they are cautiously optimistic she will deliver a healthy baby orangutan sometime around mid-September.
“All of our perseverance and planning paid off when we confirmed Batang’s pregnancy,” said Dr. Meredith Bastian, curator of primates and member of the Orangutan SSP Steering Committee. “Watching her fetus develop over the past few months has been incredibly exciting, and we’re making every effort to ensure our efforts come to fruition.”