Phoenix Zoo orangutan who underwent surgery celebrates birthday

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Happy 12th birthday, Daniel! (Source: The Phoenix Zoo) Happy 12th birthday, Daniel! (Source: The Phoenix Zoo)
Celebrating a happy and healthy birthday (Source: The Phoenix Zoo) Celebrating a happy and healthy birthday (Source: The Phoenix Zoo)
Daniel underwent surgery in March (Source: The Phoenix Zoo) Daniel underwent surgery in March (Source: The Phoenix Zoo)
Monkeying around with 3TV/CBS 5 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Monkeying around with 3TV/CBS 5 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Monkeying around with 3TV/CBS 5 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Monkeying around with 3TV/CBS 5 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's a milestone for a special resident of the Phoenix Zoo.

Daniel the orangutan is celebrating his 12th birthday this week.

Daniel recently underwent life-saving surgery for sinus disease.

The surgery was monumental, not only because it was performed by a doctor who only operates on humans, but it was the first-ever surgery of its kind to be performed on an orangutan in the United States.

[RELATED: Orangutan at Phoenix Zoo gets life-saving surgery, first of its kind in U.S.]

The surgery took 3 hours, and went off without a hitch!

In order to prepare for it, throat, ears, and nose doctor David Simms got a cell-by-cell replica of Daniel’s skull 3D printed to make sure he and his team could understand the anatomy.

Daniel now has open pink tissue on his throat to keep him healthy and happy.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Critter Corner]

Because the surgery was so successful, the zoo now expects Daniel to be able to live into his 50s.

So happy birthday to Daniel, and here's to many, many more happy and healthy birthdays ahead.
 

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