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Rare orangutan born at Chester Zoo

Keepers at Chester Zoo are celebrating a very special arrival which took place as amazed visitors looked on.

They were fortunate to witness the birth of a critically endangered Bornean orangutan.

Staff are still to discover if it's a boy or a girl, but the zoo says the birth is a huge boost to conserving the species which faces an uncertain future in the wild.

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Record breaker for Chester Zoo as it tops the tourist league again

Top attraction: the elephant enclosure at the zoo Credit: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo's been named as the UK's most visited tourist attraction outside London.

It caps off a record breaking year for the zoo, which welcomed 1.9 million visitors - more than any other year in its 85-year history.

"Almost 1.9 million people visited us last year and every one of them played a key part in helping us protect endangered animals around the globe. We can't thank them enough.

"Visitors now are looking for more than just a day out. When people come to the zoo, not only do they have a great time but they are also making a difference and discovering how all of us, as individuals, can act for wildlife. We think this is key to our success."

– Jamie Christon, the zoo's chief operating officer

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Endangered baby elephant's birth captured on cctv

Credit: Chester Zoo

A rare Asian elephant has been born at Chester Zoo, with the birth captured on CCTV.

The female calf arrived to 12-year-old mum Sundara after a 22-month gestation and was on her feet within minutes.

Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo, described the birth as "perfect" and a "great family occasion."

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list, threatened by habitat loss, poaching, disease and direct conflict with humans. The new calf is a huge boost to the endangered species breeding programme.

This was Sundara's second pregnancy and the birth was pretty much perfect.

She delivered her calf onto soft sand with all the family gathered around. Sundara then gave her a series of little kicks to gently stimulate and encourage her to her feet. Minutes later, the new arrival was up and standing and making her first attempts to suckle.

– Richard Fraser, assistant team manager of elephants at Chester Zoo
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