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Baby orangutan born at Metro Richmond Zoo

Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-11 12:08:40-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va -- A baby orangutan was born recently at the Metro Richmond Zoo, officials announced Wednesday night.

RJ was born earlier this winter to parents Tasha and Rory. During the cooler months, Tasha and RJ spent their time in their indoor enclosure. Now with warmer weather, RJ has become more mobile and can be seen outside each day with his mother and father.

At birth, RJ weighed approximately 4 pounds and is now up to approximately 8 to 10 pounds.

Orangutan's are classified as apes, not monkeys and are considered some of the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom. They have been victim to poaching and deforestation, resulting in an endangered status. Deforestation for the establishment of palm oil plantations is the primary cause for habitat loss for orangutans.

RJ's birth is a rare occurrence at the Metro Richmond Zoo. Female orangutans usually only have a baby every 7-8 years.

The Zoo now has six orangutans.