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Baby Orangutan Bonds With Surrogate Mom After Multiple Moves

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A six-month-old Bornean orangutan is taking small, sweet steps with his new, surrogate mom.

Kecil, which means "little" in Indonesian, was born at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio then transferred to the Milwaukee County Zoo, where he still wasn’t able to adapt. He ended up at the Brookfield Zoo, connecting with 53-year-old Maggie, who has been a surrogate before. The two met Sunday and have been arm in arm. 

 "It takes this whole zoo community and all their combined experience to make this type of situation work," said Jay Petersen, curator of primates and carnivores at the Chicago Zoological Society in a video on YouTube

The multiple moves don't seem to have discouraged or negatively affected the baby orangutan, who seems to be more settled, now comfortably nestling in Maggie's arms. 

"We are all hoping that Brookfield Zoo will be his last move for a while," Petersen said.

Kecil and Maggie won't be on exhibit for zoo guests for at least a few months. Although many visitors may hope to catch a glimpse of Kecil, who is still growing, the public will have to understand that the bonding with his adopted mommy will be private and beautifully budding in the meantime. 

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