Ah Meng lives on in new baby at Singapore Zoo

Singapore - The Singapore Zoo announced the arrival of Ah Meng's great grandson on Saturday.

Ah Meng was the zoo's poster girl in many of its tourism campaigns, and is arguably the zoo's most well-known icon.

A male baby orang utan was born to Chomel, who is Ah Meng's granddaughter, on Jan 31, 2011, at 4.20am.

He is the first Sumatran orang utan to be born in the zoo in 14 years.

Keepers have described the little one as a 'very amiable and expressive baby', and also reported that mother and baby are healthy and bonding well, according to a Straits Times report.

Chomel's keeper, Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, 60, who was also Ah Meng's keeper, said that Chomel was an excellent mother, even though she is a first-time parent.

The baby's father is an orang utan from the Frankfurt Zoo, named Galdikas. The 11-year-old is at the Singapore Zoo on a breeding loan, and was chosen to be Chomel's mate because he is unrelated to Ah Meng's side of the family.

The Wildlife Reserves Singapore is hoping to choose a name for the new baby with some help from the public. It is holding an online vote, and the public can choose among four names that have been shortlisted for him. Voters can choose from: ‘Bino’ which means brave, ‘Ah Boy’ , a term of endearment commonly used in local households for the youngest boy at home, ‘Terang’ for ‘light in Malay’ and ‘Xing Xing’ that sounds like ‘star or ape’ in Chinese.

Log onto Facebook at www.facebook.com/wrs.sg to choose your favourite name. You may also stand to win a breakfast party for five at the Singapore Zoo's Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife, as well as have a photo opportunity with Chomel and her baby. Contest runs from March 10 to 31, 2011.