Worth the Drive
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San Diego Cute: A Zoo Star in the Making

The orangutan baby's mom has been giving her "a gentle push" onto the ropes.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ken Bohn
    The 5-month-old Sumatran orangutan at the San Diego Zoo practiced her new climbing skills with mother, Indah, keeping a watchful eye nearby.

    AWW-WORTHY ACTIVITIES: While many of us flutter our hands and coo loudly over a zoo newborn -- animal arrivals may officially be the sweetest things on the planet, science will one day show -- it's what the baby does next that should hold our rapt and continuing attention. Think of a panda cub learning roly-poly ball play or a young polar bear gaining ice skills. It's akin to watching a human toddler gain a handle on, well, toddling, and playing with blocks and number cards. The acquiring of knowledge, in short, is an invigorating sight to behold, regardless of the species. And visitors to the San Diego Zoo are seeing such an invigorating, building-of-skills sight with 5-month-old Sumatran orangutan Aisha. The young superstar is already a favorite around the animal park, but her baby steps into new knowledge have captured the fancy of onlookers in recent days. She's been taking to the ropes -- you might have heard that orangutans rather like to swing and hang -- with a little help from her mother, Indah. A zoo representative says "(G)uests may see Indah give the youngster a gentle push up onto the ropes to practice her climbing skills."

    YEAH... that's a pretty big awww, watching parent and child interact, or, even more so, watching mom coax baby into taking the next step in skill-building. Want to see them in person? You can, of course, but there's a way right now to check out the adventures of Aisha: Ape Cam. Even if the toddling orangutan doesn't happen to be outside and camera-close, you can eye the impressive array of nets and ropes webbing the apely area.