Vietnam theme park asks public to name newborn Sumatran orangutan

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The Dam Sen Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City is polling visitors to find a name for a newborn Sumatran orangutan, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

On July 24 the 1.2-kilogram male baby was born to Sip, a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan in the park, after a gestation period of nearly nine months. Both mother and baby are in good health.

Park authorities said the baby would be named before he turns one month old.

Sip and two male Sumatran orangutans were brought from Indonesia to the park in March 1994.

Le Minh Tanh, chief of the park's Animal Management Team, said the three are now 19 years old. Sumatran orangutans live up to 50.

"The Sumatran orangutan can give birth four to five times, so we hope Sip can give birth again."

The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens also has a male Sumatran orangutan, he said.

"They (zoo authorities) suggested we bring Sip to the zoo for breeding purposes, but we refused because we have two males already," Tanh laughed.

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The Sumatran orangutan has been identified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2000. IUCN considers the animal one of the world's 25 most endangered primates."

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