Phoenix Zoo welcomes new male orangutan

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Daniel in his habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo By Jennifer Thomas Daniel in his habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo By Jennifer Thomas
Daniel in his habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo By Jennifer Thomas Daniel in his habitat at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Zoo has a new resident.

Daniel, a 7-year-old Bornean orangutan, comes to Arizona from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Daniel arrived in Phoenix late Wednesday night, accompanied by one of his longtime keepers, who will stay several days to help him acclimate to his new home.

Phoenix Zoo spokeswoman Linda Hardwick said Daniel will be in quarantine for at least 30 days as medical and keeper staff members become acquainted with him.

He will be housed in the zoo's Orang-Hutan: “People of the Forest” exhibit, which opened in 2011, and will be slowly introduced to the zoo's family of orangutans -- Michael, Bess and their offspring, Kasih.

The Phoenix Zoo's matriarch orangutan died last year. Duchess was euthanized after suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. She was 52 years old.

Hardwick said Daniel was transferred to the Phoenix Zoo to provide companionship for Kasih and for a probable reproductive pairing with her once they both reach appropriate adult age, still several years in the future.

For now, zoo staff will be focused on integrating the "new kid on the block" with his new neighborhood.

Bornean orangutans are endangered and found in primary forests of Borneo. Adult males can grow up to 5.5 feet and can weigh up to 317 pounds. Their legs are relatively short and weak, while their arms are powerful with a spread of approximately 8.25 feet.