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Zookeeper helps cure pregnant orangutan's morning sickness by providing soothing tea

Cindy, an animal care specialist, recalled how a particular tea helped her upset stomach during her own pregnancy. So, she gave Eirina the same tea.

Zookeeper helps cure pregnant orangutan's morning sickness by providing soothing tea
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @denverzoo

Going through morning sickness during pregnancy is tough and not just for human women but also for other mammals like orangutans. Eirina, an orangutan at the Denver Zoo, was having difficulties with her first pregnancy and was even experiencing morning sickness. Cindy Cossaboon an animal care specialist, recalled how a particular tea helped her upset stomach during her own pregnancy. As a result, she gave Eirina the same antidote. Before offering Eirina a cup with a straw, the Denver Zoo team ensured that the concoction was safe for her to drink. "As this is Eirina’s first pregnancy, our animal care specialists are carefully monitoring her to ensure everything goes smoothly for our mom-to-be and her new bundle of joy," the Denver Zoo shared on Instagram.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Denver Zoo (@denverzoo)


 

 

"Early in her pregnancy, they noticed she wasn’t feeling well in the morning and was showing signs of morning sickness. Our animal care and health teams decided to try giving Eirina a special pregnancy tea to help soothe her tummy. We’re happy to share that this tea has worked wonders! After her morning tea, Eirina is more active and seems to feel better throughout the day. This just so happens to be the same tea that Animal Care Specialist Cindy C. drank when she was pregnant, so she’s delighted that this remedy is helping Eirina feel better as well," they wrote. The video clip included in the post shows that the ape was more than happy to sip the drink and returned for more.

Image Source: Instagram | @denverzoo
Image Source: Instagram | @denverzoo

Cossaboon shared with PEOPLE, "She has never been pregnant before. This whole experience is new for her." Eirina's mood is familiar to Cossaboon, who has been caring for the orangutan since it arrived at the Denver Zoo from Germany's Dortmund Zoo in 2016. "Eirina had obvious signs of discomfort immediately. She went from playing all day to not wanting to get out of her nest. We would come in, and she would be in her nest, covered in blankets up to her neck. She didn't want anything to eat or drink," she adds. When Cossaboon noticed pregnant Eirina's smile fade, he went in search of solutions to the animal's discomfort. The orangutan's caregivers tried several natural remedies for morning sickness, such as ginger, but none worked. That's when Cossaboon recalled drinking the "traditional medicinal pregnancy tea" while she was pregnant that contained ingredients like raspberry leaf, spearmint, stinging nettle, and fennel fruit.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Denver Zoo (@denverzoo)


 

 

"When orangutans really like how something tastes, they will swish it around in their mouth to savor the taste. I brought Eirina her tea. She sat up from her nest. She took a sip from her straw, and she looked like a chipmunk with these huge cheeks while she swished away. She loved it," Cossaboon said of the first time pregnant Eirina tried the tea. Now, the two ladies have a morning tea routine. "When I arrive in the morning, I get her tea ready. While it is seeping, I go check on her. She is always still in her nest under her blankets. I then go get her tea, and when she sees me coming, she sits up and is ready to drink her tea. After she has had her tea, she is more active and eats her breakfast," the animal care specialist shared. 

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