‘Extremely rare’ event could happen soon at the Audubon Zoo


NEW ORLEANS, La. (BRPROUD) – An extremely rare birth is on schedule to take place at the Audubon Zoo sometime in the next two months.

A 12-year-old orangutan named Menari is expecting twins.

According to the Audubon Zoo, “Twinning is extremely rare in orangutans–there is only about a 1% chance of this happening.”

The birth is expected to take place sometime in December or January.

12-year-old Menari was born and hand-raised at the Audubon Zoo and this will be her first offspring.

In preparation for the birth “Menari’s care staff and the Zoo veterinary team are working diligently through daily training and enrichment sessions to prepare the 12-year-old orangutan for motherhood,” according to the Audubon Zoo.

So is this the first time that Sumatran orangutan twins will come into the world at the Audubon Zoo?

The answer is no.

Sumatran orangutan twins were born at the Audubon Zoo 36 years ago.

The New Orleans-based Zoo describes that experience below:

In 1985, Audubon Zoo’s orangutan named “Sarah” had twins named “Bon Temps” aka “Bonnie” and “Lagniappe” aka “Lana.” Both orangutans were hand-raised at Audubon Zoo. Lana is still alive at 36 years old, and she resides at AZA-accredited Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. Bonnie passed away in 2016 at Zoo Miami.

The father of the twins is Jambi, the Zoo’s male orangutan.

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