"There could be a baby orangutan at the zoo in 2013, which we're all excited about," said Terri Cox, curator of programs and exhibits at the zoo.
said Mei also likes sticking to a routine and can get frustrated with changes, so the sessions will help her
prepare for frequent medical checkups during the pregnancy and birthing process.
"It'll probably take more than one session for her
to get used to it," Cox
might decide to take it apart first to figure out what's inside it and then try to put it back together."
Visitors can purchase a zoo-approved plush orangutan from the gift shop for $10 and donate it to Mei for her
said KJ also will get some parenting training with the stuffed animals.
noted that he
fathered two children at a Florida zoo where he
used to reside and already demonstrated his
good paternal skills.
"None of us like having that rubbed on us, so you can imagine how uncomfortable it is for her
with hair all over her
doesn't know whether Mei will have any of the first-time mom jitters common for most women, but the zoo staff intends to be supportive of her
needs throughout the pregnancy.
The zoo hosted an international orangutan husbandry conference in 2011 on pregnancy and newborn care, so staffers plan to utilize information shared in that event.
"In some ways, we don't really know what to expect because this would be Mei's first baby and the first time any of us (on staff) have dealt with a Great Ape birth," Cox