67,698 VOTED, AND THE BABY ORANGUTAN’S NAME IS GINGER!
The Saint Louis Zoo’s baby Sumatran orangutan, born on Dec. 14, now has a name — Ginger! A total of 67,698 votes were submitted through multiple channels for the Zoo’s Name the Baby Orangutan poll, which ran from Jan. 6-16. The name was unveiled today by the orangutan family — mom Merah (MEER-ah) and baby, father Cinta (Chin-TA), sister Rubih (ROO-bee), and another male Robert B. — at a baby shower with animal enrichment activities at Jungle of the Apes.
The Zoo’s Great Ape care team chose a few potential female names — Marigold, Lucy, Cranberry and Ginger — and invited the public to vote for their favorites.
Ginger won with 29,734 votes (43.9 percent) of the total votes cast at the Zoo’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, or through ballots submitted at the Zoo’s North Entrance Welcome Desk and postcards mailed directly to the Zoo.
Runner-up Lucy received 22,895 votes (33.8 percent); Marigold received 9,918 votes (14.7 percent); and Cranberry received 5,151 votes (7.6 percent).
Visitors were asked to bring in shower gifts for the orangutan family, including blankets, Kong toys, gift cards, paper bags, nature DVDs and more. Many of these items are used in the day-to-day care of our orangutans to provide extra comfort and enrichment. Some items may be shared with the proud chimpanzee and gorilla cousins.
Baby Ginger and mom will continue to be in their Jungle of the Apes public habitat each day for varying times between approximately 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the newborn between bouts of napping, nursing and snuggling with mom.
Both orangutan species, one endemic to Borneo, the other endemic to Sumatra, are highly endangered due to an alarming rate of habitat loss. A global demand for palm oil has resulted in widespread deforestation and subsequent drastic declines in the number of orangutans that survive in the wild.
The Zoo’s WildCare Institute supports Hutan, a grassroots nonprofit organization working to build innovative approaches to conserve orangutan and other wildlife populations in the forests of Sabah. In 1998, Hutan set up the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Programme, which has long conducted high quality research and conservation activities in Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo.
Named America’s #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year.