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


Tickets Available for Purchase Online Now

El Paso, Texas (January 29, 2015) - The El Paso Zoological Society invites you to its inaugural Brew at the Zoo fundraising event to be held at the El Paso Zoo on Saturday, February 28 from 6-10 p.m.

L&F Distributors will be featuring over 20 craft breweries, each sampling a variety of their beers. The event will also feature special BBQ pub grub, pub style games, live music, special animal presentations and much more.

Tickets are on sale now at the Zoological Society office at the Zoo, by phone at (915) 532-8156 or online at General admission tickets are $30 prior to the event and $35 after Feb 22. Tickets are also available in a six pack for $162 or $20 for a designated driver.  

VIP tickets are available for early admission from 5 – 6 p.m. with special activities and a food and beer pairing sponsored by Rulis International Kitchen. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $85.

No DUI El Paso will be working with the Zoological Society to ensure safe rides home for patrons.

Funds raised from this event will contribute to our Zoo’s educational conservation programs and capital projects. The El Paso Zoological Society is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization that supports the growth and continued success of the El Paso Zoo. Through this partnership, EPZS has contributed to many major Zoo improvements and programs.

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit

Parking: Over-flow parking will be available at the El Paso Coliseum for $5.

About El Paso Zoo
Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the Foster Tree House Playground, African Star train, the Hunt Family Desert Spring water feature and Giraffe Encounters. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (, Twitter ( and YouTube (




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