Bub­ble bath on gift list for orang­utan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By ASSOCIATED PRESS in Waco, Texas

A Texas zoo has set up a gift reg­istry for an ex­pec­tant orang­utan cou­ple, com­plete with bub­ble bath and a Dolly Par­ton CD.

The Cameron Park Zoo in Waco is re­quest­ing sev­eral items for Mei and KJ on the Tar­get reg­istry, which also in­cludes the movie Zootopia, stuffed an­i­mals, a mu­si­cal crib mo­bile, SpongeBob SquarePants bub­ble bath and books. All are un­der $25, and sev­eral have al­ready been pur­chased.

“When Mei first got here, she was young, 10 years, she loved the movie Jun­gle Book,” Zoo cu­ra­tor of ex­hibits and pro­grams Terri Cox said.

“That was the one thing that would bring her up to the front un­til she got used to her sur­round­ings.”

Cox said each of the items on the gift reg­istry was se­lected to help pro­vide en­rich­ment for the new ar­rival and other zoo an­i­mals. En­rich­ment items are for de­ter­min­ing suc­cess­ful­ness in stim­u­lat­ing the an­i­mal men­tally and phys­i­cally, and are tracked per an­i­mal.

Mei is due in late Jan­uary. Her trainer, Emily El­li­son said staff will be on 24-hour baby watch be­gin­ning mid-Jan­uary. With the en­dan­ger­ment of wild orang­utans and the death of Mei’s first baby in 2014, the zoo’s goal is to help save the species from ex­tinc­tion. The baby’s gen­der won’t be re­vealed un­til birth.

“Th­ese are mag­nif­i­cent an­i­mals. To en­cour­age peo­ple to de­velop a con­nec­tion to them, that’s the role of zoos,” Cox said. “In a per­fect zoo we’d love for ev­ery­thing to live in their nat­u­ral habi­tat. But in or­der to save the species, we have spe­cific sur­vival plans.”

The zoo is also plan­ning to host a baby orang­utan shower on Dec 18 near the orang­utan ex­hibit. Hu­man guests will be able to en­joy cake.

Visi­tors look at paintings of the by Czech artist Al­fons Mucha at the Na­tional Gallery in Prague. The art­works, which mea­sure be­tween 20 and 50 square me­ters, were due to go on dis­play in Ja­pan but have been caught in a le­gal tug-of-war be­tween the city of Prague and the artist’s grand­son, who has ques­tioned the own­er­ship of the works.

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