by Photo courtesy of the San Diego Zoo

A seven-month-old endangered Sumatran orangutan infant, Kaja, was reunited with his mother Indah after being separated at birth following major health complications. 

Indah was hospitalized on Jan.4 after giving birth to Kaja, who was the first orangutan born at the Zoo since 2014, when Indah gave birth to her daughter Aisha. The Zoo’s wildlife Health team placed Indah under their care after experiencing severe complications. 

The team reached out to community-based experts and determined that Indah experienced excessive bleeding and severe anemia. The orangutan underwent several weeks of medication but eventually made a full recovery. 

“It was a slope process that required a lot of patience and attentiveness, but the reward was great in the end," said Dean Gibson, curator of primates at the San Diego Zoo. “After returning from the hospital, it took weeks for Indah to start interacting with Kaja. But once they began spending time together, their bond grew rapidly—and now, they’re nearly inseparable. It warms my heart to see Indah back in the role of mom because she does it so well”. 

Zoo officials introduced the pair to the rest of the orangutan group, and say they are familiarizing themselves with one another. 

Guests may visit the orangutans throughout the day in the Lost Forest. Officials say Kaja and Indah usually explore the habitat in the morning.  

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