Malacca Zoo welcomes baby Banteng

Serows resting in their enclosure at the Malacca Zoo. Besides a baby Serow, a baby Banteng (inset left) is one of the latest additions to the menagerie and Aprilina the baby orang utan (inset right) appears to be in good health.

MALACCA - A male baby Banteng (bos javanicus) has become the latest and cutest addition to the Malacca Zoo.

The baby Banteng, born on July 10, is yet to be named and among the names being consi­dered by the zoo's management is Rama or Raman.

The Banteng, species under the bovidae family, is currently classified as "threatened" un­­der the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List with an estimated total world population as less than 10,000 animals.

Three months ago, the buzz was over Aprilina, a female orang utan born in the zoo, which was privatised on Jan 1.

Since then, the zoo has registered the births of a female Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), a species of mountain goat under the IUCM status of "vulnerable" and a baby Malayan porcupine (hystrix brachyura).

Zoo representative Catherine Yang said the team was still excited by Aprilina.

"As Aprilina is the star in our zoo, special attention is given to her although she still clings to her mother, Tina, " she said.

Yang said the baby primate's arrival was a nice surprise as it was a captive birth.

"We were hopeful of such a birth and it happened a few months after the privatisation," she said

Yang said the baby Banteng's birth was also considered auspicious as it was born on the first day of the Muslim holy month, adding that the baby Serow had been named Blackie.

Malacca Zoo's veterinarian Dr Reza Ismail said the mother and baby orang utan were being monitored closely and so far they appeared to be in good health.

Dr Reza said Tina had taken an active role in its care, which is common among primates.

"Tina plays an important role as mother while we constantly monitor the progress of Aprilina," he said.

Tina was very protective of the newborn and shielded her baby from the photographer when The Star attempted to take pictures.

She made faces and wagged her tongue at the camera lens.

Zoo staff members eventually took both Tina and Aprilina to the show area, where photographs were taken discreetly.