Daniel just arrived in Phoenix from his previous home at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Ohio, where he was born in April 2006. Phoenix zookeepers are gradually acclimating Daniel to his new desert home by placing him in quarantine for at least 30 days. This month-long period allows medical and keeper staff to get to know Daniel, and vice versa. No news yet on how Daniel is adjusting to his desert habitat.
Meet Daniel, a seven-year-old endangered orangutan who just arrived at the Phoenix Zoo — Photo courtesy of Phoenix Zoo
Once the quarantine period is over, Daniel will be placed in the zoo's "Orang-Hutan: People of the Forest" exhibit, which opened in 2011. He will gradually be introduced to the Phoenix Zoo's other endangered orangutans, which include Michael, Bess and their young offspring Kasih.
Daniel's transfer to the Phoenix Zoo from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo happened under the auspices of the Orangutan Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The association's hope is that Daniel will serve as a companion for Kasih.
The ultimate goal is to establish a reproductive pairing between Daniel and Kasih once both animals reach adulthood. Both orangutans are still considered too young to reproduce.
Orangutans like Daniel are native to the primary forests of Borneo. Most adult males will grow up to be more than five feet tall. They can weigh more than 300 pounds. Their arms are extremely powerful and long, with a spread of about eight feet. However, their legs are considered to be relatively weak.
Visitors to the Phoenix Zoo this fall will be able to visit Daniel once he is housed in his permanent exhibit. While you're there, don't miss the rest of the zoo's animal residents. There are more than 1,400 animals living at the Phoenix Zoo, representing 30 species.
One of the zoo's most popular attractions is "Monkey Village," an open exhibit where visitors can walk among squirrel monkeys. Another unique attraction is "Stingray Bay." It lets guests get up close to a school of cownose stingrays that are kept in the zoo's 15,000-gallon interactive pool.
And while you're taking your desert sojourn, why not go on a camel ride? That's right: the Phoenix Zoo provides camel rides for adventurous visitors. You can even get your picture taken atop a friendly camel.