The LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich was recently able to achieve something no zoos or universities could, despite trying for decades, and it may have saved an entire species.
On May 20, the conservation center’s staff and some donors witnessed the birth of a 4 pound male Sumatran orangutan, who was conceived thanks to the first successful artificial insemination of an orangutan, which some scientists believe could be extinct by 2023.
“They share over 97 percent of our DNA,” Marcella Leone, Director of the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, said.
“And, they are just so like us. They are so intelligent. And, to lose this animal is like losing a distant cousin to us,” she said.
LEO is not open to the public. However, they encourage the public to log on to their website at www.leozoo.org/namethebaby to submit your recommendation for a name for the baby orangutan.
The contest continues through June 30.