Orangutan fathers are rarely involved in their children’s care. A female spends more time than any other animal on the globe with her children. Despite all odds, this orangutan took on the role of a mother to care for his two-year-old youngster at the Denver Zoo. After the mother died, the father took up parenting his children.
“We’re really saddened to learn that Nias, the matriarch of our Sumatran orangutan family, died unexpectedly last Thursday,” the zoo wrote on social media. Nias joined the Denver Zoo at the age of 17 in 2005 and has spent the last 15 years entertaining tourists and lobbying for her endangered species.
Mom two children, Hesty, 10, and Cerah, 2, were frequently seen caring for and playing with her. We are still awaiting the findings of a necropsy performed by our partners at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Services.
Nias was renowned as the “Queen Bee” of the Great Apes display at the Zoo. Her carers realized that rewarding another orangutan did not equal rewarding Nias, and her boyfriend, Berani, always followed her direction. She kept a close eye on Hesty until she was self-sufficient, never letting her out of her sight. Cerah, born in 2018, calmed Nias, and guests marveled at her swinging around on her own while under mom’s careful eye.
Primate Keeper Cindy Cossaboon of KIRO7 Cindy Cossaboon, who has known Nias from her first day at the Zoo, said it was incredible to watch this massive male with this teeny, little child. “It’s one of those situations where you have this horrific storm, and then you have the rainbow at the end. He’s doing a fantastic job. We could not have wished for better care for her.”
Nias comforts his daughter whenever she cries, cuddling with her before bed or when she yells at night.
Cossaboon went on to explain that not many individuals have the same bond with their animals as he has. Everyone has their own personality, story, and incredible adventures and recollections.
Cerah’s zookeepers wish her a happy and healthy life. Her closeness with her father has piqued the public’s interest, and their narrative reminds them of how similar orangutans are to humans.
“It’s fantastic to see something that can bring us all joy and give us something to look forward to,” Cossaboon added. Please share this touching family story with your friends and family members since it represents love and family.