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Going Ape Over Daisy

Jul 16, 2018 · Animal Story

In the wild, orangutans are known for being solitary animals who keep to themselves.

Even at a zoo, it’s unusual for orangutans to be outgoing, but Daisy is quite extraordinary. In fact, she’s one of the friendliest apes you’ll ever meet. During a visit to our Koch Chimpanzee and Orangutan Exhibit, she’ll most likely be the first to come up to the glass and greet you.

Like many SCZ residents, Daisy didn’t start out at our zoo. She was born at the Birmingham Zoo in 1981, where she was hand-raised by keepers. She also spent several years at Zoo Atlanta, where she gave birth to her first baby.

The Species Survival Program assigned Daisy to SCZ in 2009. She’s been here ever since, playing a vital role in our ape population. In 2011, Daisy became a mom for the second time to Kinali, a male who is now 7 years old.

Daisy is currently pregnant again, with her new baby expected later this year. If you visit before then, you may notice her taking some naps – growing a baby is exhausting. Orangutans’ pregnancies are almost as long as human ones – about eight and a half months.

When you see Daisy in person, it may be hard to tell how glad she is to see you. That’s because apes have significantly fewer facial muscles than people – they just aren’t able to be as outwardly expressive as you and me. What might look to you like a frown is usually just a peaceful expression – she is relaxed and happy just to be with you.

And don’t forget to take photos. Daisy can tell when you have your camera or phone out to take her picture, and she loves it. If you show her the photo, she’ll love you even more. It’s important to remember that orangutans are wild animals, but with the right safeguards in place, you can definitely be zoo-pals.

Take time to watch the other orangutans in the exhibit, too – Kinali, Panji, Tao, and baby Mulia. They each have unique personalities that are certain to leave a lasting impression.

Learn more about Sumatran Orangutans, find Daisy in the Zoo, or consider making her your Zoo Pal.

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