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Little Orangutan’s One-year-old Birthday Party

Niu-li, the little orangutan, celebrated her one-year-old birthday on April 11th at Taipei Zoo. Zoo visitors who joined her birthday party today not only gave her a birthday fruit cake but also handmade enrichment toys as presents. Before the party began, the zoo keepers shared the story of the charming baby orangutan with the public.

Niu-li, the baby orangutan, was born on the 11th of April 2012 at Taipei Zoo. She is named after her mother, Xiang-niu. Her father, Eddie, would often stare at his wife and daughter from the adjacent enclosure. Speaking of Xiang-niu, she is a loving orangutan who always holds her baby tenderly. However, her lack of lactation had caused unsuccessful nursing for her previous two babies. Therefore, after two days of observation, the keepers decided to hand-rear the baby.


Although orangutans look highly similar to human beings, nursing a 1.42 kg orangutan baby is still no easy task. Keepers have to feed on the baby five times a day, and there was no exception even during the small hours. “Fortunately, Niu-li is a well-behaved baby. She manages to drink 65c.c. of milk promptly every time,” said one of the zoo keepers. Niu-li has been under the keepers’ 24-hour good care. They have also recorded her development as follows:

Orangutan Baby

  • One month old: Tried to do a push up and lift her head up.
  • Around three months old: Showed her lower front teeth when she smiled.
  • Four months old: Began to eat non-staple food such as juice and fruit pulp.
  • Around five months old: Grew her upper front teeth and loved to grind her teeth on carrots and apples. She received a pomelo on the Mid-autumn Festival.
  • Six months old: Began to take in diverse vegetables and fruits in her daily diet. She got her first jack-o-lantern on Holloween.
  • Eight months old: Has grown into a long hair flowing beauty.
  • One year old: Has become a good tree climber and weights over 6 kg.
  • Taipei Zoo has shared the cherished moment on Taipei Zoo YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY_ix7dioKQ


Nursing Orangutan BabyNiu-li is curious about new things at present, but stays close to her keeper in unfamiliar environments. Female orangutans invest a lot of time with their offspring, taking care of them until they reach adolescence at around 6 years of age. However, the orangutans in the wild are facing a number of threats, including the degradation, fragmentation and exploitation of their habitats, which are happening very quickly. So while the zoo keepers take good care of our little orangutan, let us support the conservation of rainforests in order to help the conservation of orangutans in the wild.


Niu-li is curious about new thingsProfiles
Common name: Bornean orangutan
Scientific name: Pongo pygmaeus
Classification: Class Mammalia, Order Primates, Family Hominidae
Conservation status: CITES - Appendix I, IUCN - Endangered
Distribution: Borneo
Food habits:
Omnivorous, but primarily eat fruits. Fruits make up more than 60% of their total dietary intake; they will migrate depending on fruit availability.
1. The word “orangutan” comes from Malay and means “person of the forest.”
2. The gestation period of Bornean orangutan is about eight to nine months.

Niu-li has been under the keepers’ 24-hour good care