Adelaide Zoo is mourning the loss of its Sumatran Orangutan infant that passed away. Zoo staff are extremely saddened by the loss as the infant's passing marks a heartbreaking end to a celebrated pregnancy.
Zoos SA Senior Veterinarian, Ian Smith, says the exact cause of death is unknown at this time, however initial observations indicate the infant was stillborn.
"Similar to humans, complications at birth or within a few days after birth are not unusual for Great Apes, however, unlike human births, there is less opportunity for medical intervention," Dr Smith said.
"The exact cause of death is unknown at this point as the infant is still with Karta, however this will be determined in the coming days when we are able to perform a full veterinary investigation."
Adelaide Zoo primate keepers advise Karta and her mate Kluet are in good health and will continue to assist the pair in their recovery and throughout the mourning period.
"As is the case for many primate species, it is essential Karta and Kluet are given the appropriate time and space to mourn the loss of their infant.
"Our main concern now is to ensure the pair has the necessary support to help them through this period and to make sure they feel comfortable and secure."
In the coming days the Veterinary Team expect to perform a post-mortem on the infant to determine the exact cause of death. Karta and Kluet will remain in their night quarters until further notice.
The community is welcome to leave messages of condolence for Karta, Kluet and staff on the Adelaide Zoo Facebook page.