THE birth of a critically-endangered Bornean orangutan has left keepers and visitors at Dudley Zoo and Castle overjoyed.

Mum, Jazz, aged 30, has been showing her newborn son to visitors over the last few days in the site’s newly-built £500,000 outdoor enclosure.

Dad to the youngster, is 33-year-old Djimat, who arrived at the zoo from Denmark in October last year as part of a European Endangered Species Programme after being carefully genetically matched by studbook experts.

Upper primates section leader, Pat Stevens said: “The birth of one of the planet’s rarest animal species is so incredibly special and here at DZC we’re all thrilled with our wonderful new arrival.

“Jazz, who was born here herself, is an experienced mum, having already reared our youngest female, Sprout, who is now 11 years-old and she’s once again proving to be a doting parent.

Dudley News: Mum Jazz with her new little one. Pic - Dudley Zoo and Castle Mum Jazz with her new little one. Pic - Dudley Zoo and Castle

“The baby is gorgeous and looks to be alert and feeding well as he snuggles up to mum, while we’ve also spotted dad, Djimat, looking on lovingly at his newest offspring.”

The baby, born on June 25, brings the zoo’s Bornean orangutan number to five, consisting of the family group and solitary male, Benji.

Listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, Bornean orangutans, who share approximately 97 per cent of their DNA with humans, are one of the most threatened animal species in the world and are rapidly dwindling in number, due to loss of habitat in their native Indonesia a a result of palm oil plantations, illegal logging and illegal hunting.

As part of DZC’s ongoing conservation efforts, £100,000 has been committed over a five-year period to fund a Forest School in Indonesia to give rescued young orangutans the chance to learn basic survival skills before they’re released into a protected wild habitat.