Watch: Adorable Newborn Orangutan Safe in Mama Emma's Arms Gives Hope for Critically Endangered Species

The Chester Zoo in England has announced that they've received a very special Christmas gift: one of their Sumatran orangutans gave birth to an apparently healthy baby.

As the baby is still with its mother, zoo officials don't yet know its gender or what to name it. In a press release, the zoo says that the baby was born on the 17th or 18th of December to parents, Emma and Puluh.

Earlier this year, scientists announced that a population of 800 orangutans living in North Sumatra were actually their own species, Tapanuli orangutans. While that news was exciting, it meant that there were 800 fewer Sumatran orangutans in the world. Now, there are only 6,500 left in the world, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the Sumatran Orangutan as critically endangered.

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Emma, age 30, and her new baby orangutan. Chester Zoo

Many zoos have conservation, as well as recreation and education, as part of their mission. Through breeding programs, zoos preserve species that are declining in the wild, and they've even saved several species from the brink. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan includes breeding nearly-extinct animals, like California condors and black-footed ferrets.

"A successful and well-managed conservation breeding program may be critical to safeguarding the species in the future," collections director Mike Jordan said in the zoo's press release.

Indonesia is home to several endangered animals that face further threat from human development. In particular, forest habitats are being cut down to make room for palm oil plantations. Orangutans, who lose their homes as native trees are destroyed, are especially under threat from palm oil plantation development.

Palm oil is almost unavoidable for American consumers, as it's a common ingredient in many snacks and household products. However, some farmers are making an effort to raise palm oil in a sustainable way. The city of Chester, in northwest England, which hosts the zoo where the new orangutan was born, is hoping to move towards only selling products that contain sustainable palm oil, as a part of their effort to conserve this rare species.