The Kansas City Zoo said they are saddened by the loss of Intan, a 24-year-old female orangutan.
She passed away Thursday morning.
The zoo said Intan arrived from the Los Angeles Zoo in early November per the Species Survival Program recommendation for breeding with the zoo's 25-year-old male, Rufus.
Upon arrival Intan was under close observation of the zoo's professional staff in the zoo's Animal Health Center. After the customary quarantine period, the zoo said she was moved to the orangutan behind-the-scenes area to meet Rufus.
The zoo said introductions of animals happen in stages in accordance with professional accepted procedures and safeguards. The zoo's plans were discussed amongst animal keeper staff and animal health staff.
The zoo said they began the step-by-step process of introducing the orangutans last week. But, after the initial introduction and with some interference from Jill, the other female orangutan, it was decided that staff should separate the pair from each other as well as the other orangutans.
Wednesday, Rufus and Intan were placed together in an indoor holding area. Both built their own nests across from one another and bedded down. When checked first thing Thursday morning, both were in their nests while still keeping an eye on each other. Shortly thereafter, the animal supervisor who was observing called for Animal Health because Intan was unresponsive.
"It is extremely sad for us as well as the entire zoo community. Our commitment to animal welfare and to the staff who provide this care is priority one. That is why we will continue to collaborate with AZA, our zoo colleagues, the SSP's and USDA to share and learn from our experiences and enhance all future conservation opportunities," said Randy Wisthoff, the zoo's CEO and executive director.
The exact cause of Intan's death is pending. The zoo said conclusive results will be made after the results of the pathology reports are received.
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