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Aurora the Orangutan
Laurie Lee
31 Years at the zoo

Even with over 30 years of memories, hands down my favorite zoo experience was helping hand raise Aurora as a baby orangutan. Since I had never had a baby of my own, this involved learning a lot of things, from putting in her pacifier right side up to warming her formula to the perfect temperature! We “monkey mamas” (yes, I know orangutans are apes and not monkeys, but it has a nice ring) started our version of a blog to share photos, learnings, Aurora’s defining developmental moments, and just the joy of our small role in her life. All the while, soon-to-be adoptee mother Cheyenne waited patiently for her opportunity to take over and show us how it really should be done. It’s been a joy to watch their bond and Aurora growing into a young adult, and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds for her!

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