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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Orangutan Gives Birth, Adorability Ensues

Author: Reilly Capps/Thursday, August 15, 2013/Categories: video

By Reilly Capps

One of the charming things about orangutans, among many charming things, is their name. In Bahasa Indonesian, the language spoken on Sumatra, where most orangutans come from, the word "orang" means man, and "utan" means forest -- so they are, in their local language, called "forest men."

Something about their loping, lazy walk and big fat faces make them look different from other animals, like your favorite fat uncle who drinks too much. It's a shame that they're endangered. Which is one reason why it's so cool that a zoo wildlife park on the British Island of Jersey, Durrell, caught a live orangutan birth on camera, the first time this is has happened in such detail. 

The orangutan mom knows what to do instinctively, the way all animals do after they give birth.

But there is something human about the way she goes about it that helps her live up to her image as a forest woman. The way she tenderly sucks on the amniotic sac. The way she cradles her daughter gently. The way she comes over to show off her new baby, the way any proud mother would.

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