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By Dan Thomas These are the adorable images of a mother and her baby orangutan catching up on missed time together after being successfully reintroduced to each other. From a curious hand reaching out to her young, playing together to lovingly being cradled, the pair were apart for almost a year after birth. Loveable Pongo, who just turned a year old on Jan 10, was born by caesarean and raised by a team of zoo keepers, volunteers and vets while mum Blaze recovered. First-time mum Blaze made a full recovery from the surgery but wasn't ready to take on the role of motherhood immediately. Caregivers began a careful series of introductions, allowing mother and baby to initially see each other across a barrier for safety. After two months of introductions Blaze finally reached a curious hand out toward the little baby. Pongo was taken to the orangutan building each morning for intros with Blaze and each evening returned to a nursery to receive round-the-clock care and feeding from staff and volunteer caregivers. Throughout the hand-raising process carers tried to make the experience as natural for the baby as possible - even using fuzzy orange blankets to simulate mother's hair. After finally accepting her baby the pair were reunited but not yet ready to go outside so had to make do with getting further acquainted with each other indoors. When they were ready to move to their outdoor habitat Pongo continued nursing from Blaze but got supplemental feedings to make sure he was getting all the nutrition he needed. A zoo spokesperson said: "The story of Blaze and Pongo, followed with interest and encouragement by thousands of fans on social media, is the Zoo's most heart-warming success story of 2013. "First-time mother Blaze initially had to learn to develop maternal skills following her son's birth by Caesarean section in January. "For months the new-born received round-the-clock nursery care from a dedicated team of Zoo staff and volunteer nurses from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta while animal care professionals worked to introduce Pongo to his mother. "After several weeks of consistent daily introductions, Blaze and Pongo began living together full-time and have been bonding ever since." Zoo Atlanta is home to North America's largest zoological collection of orangutans, with 13 individuals. ENDS


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