Texas Zoo's Orangutan Parents-to-Be Register at Target for Baby Gifts
The gifts on the Target baby registry will go to help with the enrichment of all the zoo's animals
Everyone loves Target, primates included.
Orangutans Mei and KJ of the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, are expecting a baby. According to WacoTrib.com, the zoo is so ecstatic about this upcoming arrival that it is throwing a baby shower for the lucky couple. As is typical of showers, a registry has been set up.
But this primate pair isn’t registered at a store for animals; they are a signed up at Target. Their list includes items like a Dolly Parton CD, a Spongebob Bath, a Baby Einstein Discover and Play Piano and the movie Zootopia.
All of the gifts were picked out by the keepers to promote the enrichment of the newborn and other animals at the zoo. Just like human infants, orangutan babies need stimulating activities to grow into happy and healthy kids. And enrichment isn’t just for the youngsters.
“When Mei first got here, she was young, 10 years, she loved the movie Jungle Book,” zoo curator Terri Cox told WacoTrib.com “That was the one thing that would bring her up to the front until she got used to her surroundings.”
Along with movies, orangutans at the zoo enjoy painting class, CD listening sessions and playing with mobiles.
Baby showers, like Mei and KJ’s, allow the zoo to raise money and receive donated goods to ensure they can keep providing new and exciting enrichment opportunities to all their animals. The events also allow the public to feel involved in the well being of the animals at the zoo.
“It’s quite expensive to run a zoo of the caliber of ours,” Cox said. “We always need more money for enrichment items — not food, that’s in our budget always. But for extras like that, we have a small budget but not nearly enough to do all the things we need to do.”
Mei and KJ will open their gifts on Dec. 18, so there is still time to get the proud parents a present to celebrate this adorable new addition.
The zoo’s latest Facebook update shared the following video, stating “Mei and baby are doing great while we are entering the final part of her pregnancy. This video is from the last ultrasound and thanks to our new machine, we can actually hear the baby’s heartbeat!” When asked how the mama acts during her scan, the zoo replied, “She doesn’t really seem to react one way or another … Sometimes during the session she likes to see the screen when the images of the baby are really active.”
Mom-to-be Mei and her baby are said to be in great health. The sex of the child will not be determined until birth. The orangutan will give birth in the colder months, surrounded by top neonatal care, which means the baby won’t make a public debut until later in 2017, when temperatures are more suitable.