Introducing Mila! Fans choose name for Indianapolis Zoo’s baby orangutan


Photo provided by Indianapolis Zoo/Vicki Townsend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tuesday marks Election Day in Indiana, but one race has already been decided.

The Indianapolis Zoo’s newest orangutan now has a name. Zoo fans choose “Mila” (pronounced MEE-lah) after a Facebook vote. The name means “dear one” in Indonesian.

The name was one of five finalists chosen by zoo officials before the vote went to the public. Voting began on April 21. The other names in the running were:

  • Kiki (KEE-kee), the name of Sirih’s great-grandmother
  • Kitri (KEE-tree), meaning “rare” in Indonesian
  • Narah (NAH-rah), meaning “truth” in Indonesian
  • Ndari (in-DAH-ree), an Indonesian word meaning “full moon,” which also coincides with the day the baby was born

Mila is the second baby for 23-year-old Sirih, who came to the Indianapolis Zoo last year from the Frankfort Zoo in Germany. The zoo said both mom and baby are “doing great,” describing Sirih as a caring, attentive mother who keeps her daughter close. Mila’s father, Bassan, and most of the other orangutans at the Simon Skodjt International Orangutan Center have been introduced to her.

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