Happy Birthday Jaya!

Did somebody say P-A-R-T-Y? Well, that is exactly what the staff at Como Zoo did this morning in “Celebration” of Jaya, the youngest of the zoo’s Orangutans. Jaya turned the big 6 today! Arriving via C-Section on December 13, 2007, Jaya is nothing short of a miracle for celebration for all of the staff at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Jaya holds the record for the fastest reintroduction to mother Markisa out of nine c-sections performed on captive Orangutans after just twelve remarkable and memorable days. After around the clock care from the keeper staff for the first twelve days of his life, Jaya was able to spend Christmas Day back in his mother’s arms.

With presents, cameras, and smiles in place; Zookeepers gave Jaya enrichment while singing “Happy birthday” for his special day. Enrichment is stimulating activities that keep the animals mentally and physically healthy. Today Jaya received presents wrapped in gift paper; footballs, soccer balls, bagels with whip cream and sprinkles, among other fun objects. All four of Como Zoo’s Orangutans were able to participate and celebrate on this snowy Friday the 13th, with Jaya or “Sugar Lips” a nickname given by Como Zoo’s lead Orangutan trainer and International studbook keeper, Megan Elder.

All of the animals at Como Zoo are given daily enrichment activities from the keepers such as food, changes to exhibit “furniture”, toys, or even auditory or visually stimulating things. However, this lucky little Orangutan only turns 6 once, and what a day to celebrate!

Happy birthday to you Jaya!