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Keywords:

  • anaesthetic;
  • Bornean orang-utan;
  • breeding;
  • constipation;
  • lactation;
  • parturition;
  • positioning of infant

On 29 November 1997 a ♀ Bornean orang-utan Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus was born at Barcelona Zoo. The mother, a 15 year-old, primiparous, hand-reared ♀ born at Duisburg Zoo, Germany, had difficulty positioning the infant correctly to enable nursing. After 48 hours the adult ♀ was anaesthetized to facilitate the infant's access to the breasts. This procedure was carried out twice, after which the infant was able to nurse successfully and remain with its mother. It was not necessary to remove the newborn orangutan for hand-rearing nor supplement its feeds.