Baby Miri proves a rare attraction; NEWLY-BORN ORANG-UTAN ALREADY DELIGHTS ZOO VISITORS.Byline: By STEVE EVANS Steve Evans is a common name that can refer to different people:
A CUTE little red-head with big appealing eyes is enthralling en·thrall
tr.v. en·thralled, en·thrall·ing, en·thralls
1. To hold spellbound; captivate: The magic show enthralled the audience.
2. To enslave. visitors to Twycross Zoo
Twycross Zoo (also known as the World Primate Centre , near Nuneaton.
Miri, a rare Bornean orangutan The Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the slightly smaller Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes found in Asia. , was born at the zoo less than three weeks ago - and she is proving a big attraction.
Zoo staff say the infant's mother, Maliku, and the baby are "doing well" and hope her arrival will focus attention on the plight of one of the world's most endearing yet endangered great apes.
Twycross is getting ready to host a major presentation to raise awareness of the conservation work being carried out to help the orang-utan's survival in its native Borneo, where there are fears the ape might become extinct in the wild Extinct in the Wild (EW) is a conservation status assigned to species or lower taxa, the only living members of which are being kept in captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range. within 10 years.
Zoo spokesman Kim Riley said: "This is Maliku's first baby and she has settled into motherhood exceptionally well.
"It is wonderful to see the orang-utans in their enclosure and to watch Maliku feeding and caring for her daughter and giving her lots of cuddles."
Miri's father, Batu, was born at Allwetter Zoo in Munster, Germany and arrived at Twycross nine years ago. Since his arrival, he has fathered five offspring - three males and two females.
Mrs Riley said: "With the addition of our new arrival, Twycross now houses seven Bornean orang-utans.
"Orang-utans are an endangered ape and their habitat is dwindling fast. It is estimated that only 15,000 currently exist in the wild and it is anticipated that, unless help is given to these gentle apes, they will become extinct in the wild within 10 years."
Twycross is to host a presentation called Conservation of the Orang-utan - Securing Their Future, on October 30 at 6.15pm.
It will be given by Laurentius Ambu, the deputy wildlife director, and Dr Sen Nathan, chief vet, both from the Sabah Wildlife Department in Malaysia.
Mrs Riley said: "The aim of the talk is to teach and to increase awareness of the essential conservation work being carried out to ensure the survival of the orang-utan and its habitat.
"This is the first time the Malaysian government has given permission for these ambassadors of Sabah to leave their country in order to share their knowledge."
TIRED OUT: Miri, the baby orang-utan (above) and with mum (left). Pictures: DARRYL SMITH; DN9375_2