It's a Baby Shower!


The community is invited to celebrate the El Paso Zoo’s newest animal mommy with their mommies on Mother’s Day.                                      

The El Paso Zoo will shower orangutan mom Ibu and dad Butch with love from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The shower will include games, interactive booths, special animal enrichment, and more. Butch will be on exhibit during the shower. Ibu and their baby, born at the zoo on April 23, will not be on exhibit to allow mom and baby more time to bond. Visitors will get to see exclusive photos of the pair on Sunday.

Members of the community will also be able to vote for their favorite name for Ibu and Butch’s baby at Sunday’s shower. Ibu’s keepers have chosen four of their favorite names. They are asking for the community’s help to narrow it down to the top two names. The selected baby names are:

  •   Pohon: Indonesian, meaning tree
  •   Eko: Indonesian, meaning first born
  •   Moki: Ancient Southwest Pueblo, meaning step (as in a positive step for orangutan conservation)
  •   Khaleesi: Meaning queen (from the fictional Dorhraki language in the “Game of Thrones” series)

The lions, elephants, meerkats, sun bear and spider monkeys will also be voting on baby names during their enrichment activities at Sunday’s shower. Animal enrichment is provided to animals to provide mental and physical stimulation in their daily lives. Community members who can’t come to the Zoo on Mother’s Day will be able to vote at starting on May 11. On Father’s Day, Butch will pick between the top two vote-getters.

Ibu’s Baby Shower is being held in conjunction with the international M.O.M. (Missing Orangutan Mothers) event. The birth of a Sumatran orangutan at the El Paso Zoo could be one of the most important conservation achievements in the history of the Zoo. The El Paso Zoo has focused on Sumatran orangutan conservation efforts with support from the El Paso Zoological Society Conservation Fund for more than 10 years. This includes supporting programs in Indonesia that rescue and relocate hundreds of injured, orphaned and displaced orangutans.



El Paso Zoo Welcomes Baby Orangutan


EL PASO, Texas – The El Paso Zoo is ecstatic to welcome the first Sumatran orangutan born at the Zoo. Ibu and Butch welcomed their first baby overnight. 

“I am so proud of our staff for preparing so diligently. The training and preparation seems to have paid off with a successful birth. This is a huge milestone for the El Paso Zoo and for our community. This is a historic conservation achievement for the Zoo, and an important contribution to the conservation of this endangered species,” Zoo Director Steve Marshall said.

Ibu and the baby are doing well. Ibu is doing a great job for a first-time mom and is very attentive and gentle. She is doing everything right. She cleaned the baby, is holding her appropriately and the baby appears to be nursing. The baby is also holding on to mom with a tight grip.

Ibu’s keepers have worked with her for two years to prepare her for motherhood - and it seems to have paid off. Ibu is voluntarily presenting the baby to staff when asked, which allowed a keeper to assist Ibu in cutting the umbilical cord.

“We got great surprise this morning when we came in and found a baby in Ibu’s arms. We want to thank the community for helping us prepare Ibu for this very important step in her life. The donation of plush orangutans helped us with her training and she’s doing an amazing job. We couldn’t have done it without the community’s help and support,” said Griselda Martinez, Collections Supervisor.

The baby was expected in late May and its arrival surprised staff. It does not appear the baby is premature. Predicting orangutan births is complicated because predictions are based on physical observations that can be variable. Veterinary staff used sonograms, but there is not enough data yet to make an exact prediction. Ibu’s baby will help contribute to the data that will be used to better predict future orangutan births.

“We’re really proud of Ibu for doing this all on her own, but we’re a little ‘upset’ at her for surprising us so early. Most of all, we’re relieved that they are both doing so great,” said Dr. Victoria Milne, Zoo Veternarian. 

Zoo staff has been planning a baby shower for Ibu on Mother’s Day in conjunction with the international M.O.M. (Missing Orangutan Mothers) event.  Guests will have the opportunity to support the couple with love at the baby shower, even though the baby has already been born. The baby shower will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 10. The baby naming contest will kick off at the event, and a baby registry will soon be available for the community to show their love and support.

According to the birthing plan, the Zoo is allowing Ibu and the baby to bond behind the scenes. The Zoo will assess their progress in a few weeks to determine when mommy and baby may be on exhibit. 


Love is in the Air at the El Paso Zoo
Animals To Receive Special Valentine’s Day Treats


Come watch the animals at the Zoo receive a special Valentine’s Day enrichment treat! Enrichment activities will begin at 9:45 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m.  on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. Animal enrichment is provided to animals to provide mental and physical stimulation in their daily lives. Without a doubt, the animals enjoy special treats, and this activity provides a fun and unique experience for them and our visitors.

“All of our animals love their daily treats and this is a fun and a great way to engage our visitors. We enjoy giving our animals special treats and showing the community and our visitors how much they are loved. This will be a fun activity for the animals and anyone who comes to share Valentine’s Day with them,” said Carrie Trudeau, Animal Enrichment Coordinator.


9:45 a.m.              Asia- Leopard & Lion Tail Macaque

10:15 a.m.           Americas- Galapagos Tortoises

11:30 a.m.           Americas- Ocelot

11:45 a.m.           Africa- Lower Savannah

12:00 p.m.           Africa- Lions, Asia- Nocturnal Animals Forest Complex

12:30 p.m.           Asia-Orangutan

12:45 p.m.           Asia- Sun Bear, Americas- Spider Monkeys

1:00 p.m.             Asia- Tiger

1:30 p.m.             Asia- Siamangs

2:00 p.m.             Americas- Snake - Reptile house              

2:15 p.m.             Africa- Meerkats, Americas- Animals of the South American Pavilion

2:30 p.m.             Asia- Elephants

3:00 p.m.             Asia- Przewalski’s horse

3:15 p.m.             Americas- Prairie Dogs

3:30 p.m.             Americas- Americas Lands Animals & Cisneros Paraje

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