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Nangka, the 6-month-old infant Sumatran orangutan who arrived at Zoo Atlanta on September 8, has recently embarked on his latest exciting milestone: exploring his new outdoor habitat with his adoptive mother, Madu. Be on the lookout for the duo in the Zoo’s orangutan complex in the Asian Forest when weather conditions are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.

Incredibly, Nangka is Madu’s fifth adoptive infant. When it became apparent following his birth at the Sacramento Zoo on May 1, 2023, that his biological mother was not likely to provide appropriate maternal or interest or care for him, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Orangutan Species Survival Plan® (SSP) recommended that the youngster be transferred to Atlanta to join Madu.

The ability to be reared by other orangutans is vital for these arboreal apes, who have a longer dependent childhood (eight to 10 years) than any other terrestrial mammal and learn everything they know from their mothers. In the wild,

these skills include knowledge of climbing safety, appropriate predator avoidance behaviors, the ability to identify and remember the locations of fruiting trees, and the ability to discern the appropriateness of certain fruits and other foods.

Read the original story about Nangka’s arrival here.

(Photo: Jodi Carrigan)

Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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