Neo the orangutan celebrated his first birthday at Bioparc Fuengirola

Neo held his own birthday party Credit: Bioparc Fuengirola

NEO the orangutan celebrated his first birthday at Bioparc Fuengirola today, Thursday August 4.

Since he came into the world, Neo has had a close relationship with his mother, to whom he clung from the first moment and from whom he has barely lets go.

He will maintain this closeness until he has reached his second birthday although he will continue to take milk from his mother until he is four or five.

This special relationship makes Bornean orangutans one of the animals with the longest childhood in the animal kingdom.

They do not become independent until they are seven or eight years old, which is why females do not usually give birth more than five times throughout their lives.

Neo is one of four baby orangutans that have been born at Bioparc as part of the zoo’s conservation programme and according to data from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) the worldwide population of orangutans is just under 105,000 less than half the figure recorded at the beginning of the 1970s.

The rainforest habitats of both Borneo and Sumatran orangutans, the other recorded species, are disappearing at an alarming rate due to deforestation and land clearing for pulp paper as well as palm oil plantations and the IUCN estimates that, if its decline and the threats that cause it continue at the same rate, most of the population will become extinct in the next 50 years.

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