It’s a Boy! Texas Zoo’s Orangutans Welcome New Baby with Gifts from their Target Registry

January 26, 2017 - Article reads in
New mom Mei the orangutan gives her new baby boy a kiss

Last month, dozens of visitors flowed into the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, carrying brightly wrapped packages of all shapes and sizes. They were headed to the orangutan exhibit—and a baby shower for the zoo’s orangutan parents-to-be, Mei and KJ.

And what a party it was! Families said hello to Mei and KJ and brought them gifts from the couple’s Target Baby Registry. The zoo staff set up the registry in preparation for the arrival of the newest member of their family, and registered for products they knew the orangutans would need and love. A few items on the list? Blankets and bedding for building nests. DVDs (“Tarzan,” or “Zootopia,” anyone?) for family movie night. Plenty of music (Adele’s “25” was a must). And toys like blocks, Play-Doh and finger paints.

Two photos of Mei and KJ interacting with visitors and opening a gift

“The shower was our staff’s idea,” says Duane McGregor, public relations manager, Cameron Park Zoo. “We’re always looking for ways to involve our guests with our animals and to get more people interested in learning about endangered species.” 

In the days leading up to the shower, Cameron Park Zoo’s followers from across the country visited the registry and sent gifts (or conservation donations) their way.

Mei and KJ in their exhibit the day of the shower, surrounded by gifts

When we heard about it, the Target team couldn’t resist sending them a little something too, along with a $2,500 donation to the Cameron Park Zoo. “We loved this story and were thrilled to hear that the zoo chose a Target Baby Registry,” says Bruce Starnes, vice president, digital solutions, Target. “Welcoming a new member to the family is exciting, and can be overwhelming—so Target will always be there to help, whether you live in a city apartment, a house in the countryside or, in this case, a zoo!”    

Two boxes of baby gifts and a plush Bullseye dog from Target

Just a few weeks later, the baby arrived! On Jan. 12, Mei gave birth to a healthy (and very vocal) boy. The family is doing well as they spent his first few weeks in quiet bonding time together. 

The newborn orangutan cuddles up with mom as he sucks his thumb

This week, the zoo invited visitors to come see Mei and the new baby for the first time, and even cast a vote to help give him a name. And it looks like Mei, KJ and baby are loving their gifts—they even sent the Target team a painting they did themselves of our bullseye logo. (Thanks! We love it.)

Mei looks at the camera while baby sleeps cuddled up on top of her

Planning a party of your own? Check out Target’s Registries & Lists page to help you celebrate any milestone.

*Photos courtesy of Sheri Hemrick, Emily Ellison and Laura Klutts.

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