Newest orangutan makes outdoor debut at Phoenix Zoo - WSMV Channel 4

Newest orangutan makes outdoor debut at Phoenix Zoo

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Daniel, a 7-year-old Bornean orangutan, made his outside debut at the Phoenix Zoo on Wednesday. (Source: Phoenix Zoo) Daniel, a 7-year-old Bornean orangutan, made his outside debut at the Phoenix Zoo on Wednesday. (Source: Phoenix Zoo)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's as if someone said, "Daniel, you need to get out more often." That's exactly what the Phoenix Zoo's newest orangutan did Wednesday, venturing outside at the zoo's orangutan habitat People of the Forest.

The 7-year-old male has completed the standard quarantine period, during which zookeepers slowly introduced him to his playmate, Kasih, and are now allowing him outside, said Linda Harwick, spokeswoman for the zoo.

The two were spending time together in one of the indoor day rooms at the orangutan exhibit and have hit it off, Harwick said.

Daniel, a Bornean orangutan, has been climbing the habitat's structures and ropes in the Arboreal Yard and even getting up close with some of the zoo's guests looking through large glass windows, Harwick said.

Wednesday was also the first day Daniel had ever been outside. He was born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in April 2006 and lived in a 2-acre indoor exhibit until coming to Phoenix, Harwick said.

The transfer to the Phoenix Zoo was recommended by the Orangutan Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Harwick said.

Species Survival Plans are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species, she said.

Daniel's recommendation is to provide companionship for Kasih, a 7-year-old female.

Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) are endangered and found in primary forests of Borneo, Harwick said.

Adult males can grow up to 5'6" and can weigh up to 317 pounds. Their legs are relatively short and weak, while their arms are powerful with a spread of approximately 8'3".

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