How to tell if your great ape is pregnant…

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The world’s number one selling brand in home pregnancy and fertility tests has donated pregnancy kits – for orang utans.

The Clearblue brand helps over 20 million women every year – and now, a couple of broody female Bornean orang utans… Keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon approached Clearblue because they hope their orang utans will breed this year.

Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Rob Rouse said: “We now have a male who is old enough to breed. As part of the European Endangered species Programme for Bornean orang utans, we’d like them to be trying for babies, but we need to check. I’ve used Clearblue tests at other zoos and I know they work with orang utans.”

Paignton Zoo is home to females Gambira (nearly 23) and Chinta (30), as well as toy-boy male Wousan, who is nearly 12. Clearblue has donated twenty-four rapid detection pregnancy tests to the charity zoo. 

Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling added: “Keepers will need to be opportunistic. If they spot one of the female orang utans peeing in the show-den, they’ll try to move the animals to another part of the complex so they can go in and test the puddle. Being a zoo keeper is very glamourous!”

The results will help keepers track developments, understand changes in behaviour and hopefully prepare for the patter of tiny orang utan feet. Clearblue tests are fast and accurate and designed to be easy to use – apparently, by orang utans as well as humans…

The rest of orang utans in the zoo’s group are Chinta’s youngster Natalia (6) and Mali (24) and Tatau (who is nearly 7). Paignton Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go towww.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 01803 697500.

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