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Bornean orangutan born in Barcelona zoo

Species is critically endangered due to deforestation in southeastern Asian island of Borneo


03 July 2022 11:21 AM


ACN | Barcelona

A new specimen of Bornean orangutan was born in the Barcelona zoo on May 15, as the institution announced on Saturday.

The baby ape is in good health and has already been seen with her mum being breastfed.

She is the third child of Jawi, a 25-year orangutan who was also born in the Barcelona zoo.

Her father is Karl, a 25-year-old ape born in Dublin.

The zoo has welcomed the birth, since it already boasts seven specimens of Bornean orangutans, an endangered species endemic to the island of Borneo, in southeastern Asia.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are critically endangered, the last status before being considered extinct in the wild.

Indeed, such animals are especially at risk of disappearing due to deforestation in the area. Illegal hunting, fires in Borneo, lack of awareness and climate change are other threates they are facing in the wild.

"It is good news taking into account the zoo's strategy to become a center for the preservation of biodiversity," said the Barcelona's zoo, Antoni Alarcon, reacting at the birth.

The future of the zoo: filling the Sink podcast

The future of the Barcelona zoo has been under discussion in the past few years. While the institution defends its role as antidote to decreasing biodiversity, animal rights group Zoo XXI do not agree with how the Zoo is being run.

"The climate emergency means ecosystems will continue to evolve, which is why continuing to reproduce animals that may be reintroduced into the wild 20 years from now isn’t good enough," said one of the group's activists, Rosi Carro, to Catalan News, in November 2021. "New zoos must leave the zoo behind and protect natural habitats and only reproduce species that will be reintroduced in the short or medium-term."

Have a listen to our Filling the Sink podcast on the topic, published in November 2021:  


  • A Bornean orangutan, Jawi, with her new baby, in the Barcelona zoo (by Barcelona zoo)

  • A Bornean orangutan, Jawi, with her new baby, in the Barcelona zoo (by Barcelona zoo)