Bornean orangutan born at Phoenix Zoo

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Zoo has a new resident: a baby Bornean orangutan.

The zoo has announced that the male orangutan was born Tuesday afternoon to mother Bess and father Michael, who were already parents to an 8-year-old female named Kasih.

According to a press release from the zoo, Bess and the newborn appear to be doing well and are staying in the night house while they are monitored by keepers and veterinary staff.

The pair could move into the exhibit in a few days, joining Michael, Kasih and Daniel, an 8-year-old orangutan brought to the zoo from Cleveland last November.

The Phoenix Zoo lost its oldest orangutan, 52-year-old Duchess, to cancer in June 2012.

Bornean orangutans are listed as endangered, and scientists estimate wild orangutans could be extinct in five to 10 years if their forest habitat continues to be destroyed at the current rate.

Forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being destroyed to grow palm oil, which is used in snack foods, household cleaning supplies and cosmetics.

The Phoenix Zoo said it contributes to Bornean orangutan conservation efforts by working with HUTAN to provide assistance for reforestation.

The zoo said the public can help by purchasing only certified sustainable palm oil.