Voting underway to find a name for baby orangutan

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Voting is now open to find a name for The Phoenix Zoo's newest resident. The zoo is asking for the public's help choosing a name for the nearly two-month-old baby boy orangutan.

He's just eight weeks old but already is drawing huge crowds at his exhibit. "He was born on September 2," the primate keepers told 3TV Thursday. "The childbirth went very well. He's a happy, healthy boy right now."

The only thing he needs is a name!

Votes can be cast online at phoenixzoo.org. Voters can choose from five pre-selected names, chosen by zoo staff. Those names are:

-Abadi - meaning enduring
-Duke - honoring his grandmother Duchess
-Jantung - meaning heart
-Jiwa - meaning soul
-Warisan - meaning legacy

The voting period will run from through Thursday, November 6 at 8 p.m.

Votes will then be tallied and the winning name will be revealed at a baby shower for Bess and the newborn on Saturday, November 8,  from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Visitors can leave their wishes for the baby and family, learn interesting facts about Bornean orangutans, and watch as Bess reveals the baby's name at 10 a.m. All activities are included with general admission into the zoo.

But what, exactly, does one bring to a baby shower for an orangutan? The zoo staff had some ideas.

"These orangutans love to cover themselves with sheets, towels, fleece blankets," zoo workers tell us. "They also love to play with sidewalk chalk, so that's really fun. Butcher paper is something they need. Any kind of monetary donation as well."

And believe it or not, DVDs are also a great gift idea! "They love to watch cartoons and animal shows. So those are also good gifts."

Vote here for the name, through Nov. 6: www.phoenixzoo.org

The Phoenix Zoo
455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ
(602) 273-1341 ?

About Bornean Orangutans
Bornean orangutan are listed as 'Endangered' and  scientists estimate that wild orangutans could be extinct in 5-10 years if their forest habitat continues to be destroyed at the current rate. Forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being destroyed for lumber and to produce palm oil, which is used in countless snack foods, household cleaning supplies and cosmetics. The Phoenix Zoo contributes to Bornean orangutan conservation efforts through the Phoenix Zoo Conservation & Science Grants Program, specifically working with HUTAN, to provide assistance for reforestation of protected areas for orangutans and supporting monitoring and protection of orangutans in the wild. 
You can help reduce demand for unsustainably harvested palm oil by purchasing products that use certified sustainable palm oil and by supporting the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

About the Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in the Valley accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a non-profit zoological park, serving 1.4 million guests annually. Home to more than 1,400 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo provides experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. For information on upcoming events, exhibits and activities at the Phoenix Zoo, visit www.phoenixzoo.org.