Video: Audubon Zoo announces name of Baby Orangutan, with help from Children’s Hospital

Louisiana News

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Wednesday morning, the Audubon Zoo and Children’s Hospital New Orleans met to announce the name of the newest member of the orangutan group.

Children from the hospital exuberantly unveiled the winning name in a celebration at the Zoo. The event took place directly in front of the Sumatran orangutan habitat, so the orangutan group, including the infant and her mother, Reese, attended.

Hospital staff and patients spent the past week voting on their favorite name for the infant and results are in.

Born on February 28, the female Sumatran orangutan infant has affectionately been named “Madu,” which means honey in Malay.

“Our patients had so much fun being invited to help name Audubon’s baby orangutan,” said President and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans John R. Nickens IV. “Working together with our partners at Audubon, we love being able to bring enrichment opportunities to our patients at the hospital. This is a great example of finding creative ways to work together to deliver a little something extra for our patients and families. We’re so excited to watch the baby grow and thrive for many years to come.”

This infant is Reese’s first offspring and the second infant born at Audubon Zoo to dad Jambi since his arrival from Hanover Zoo in German in 2018. Jambi also fathered Bulan, the female born to orangutan matriarch Feliz in 2019.  

“We were thrilled to have our long-time partners Children’s Hospital New Orleans help us make this big decision,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “Throughout this last year, they have offered immense support that has been essential to the recovery of our attractions.” 

Audubon is committed to helping create experiences that spark action and empower visitors to impact the natural world for the better. 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.

There are currently 95 Sumatran orangutans in human care across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums organizations. 

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