In this undated photo, released Thursday Jan. 31, 2019, by Zoo Basel, zoo keepers routinely take DNA samples from female orangutan cub Padma to determine her paternity at the Basel Zoo. Image: Zoo Basel via AP
Who’s the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test
Associated Press / 04:46 PM February 03, 2019
BERLIN — A paternity test on a baby orangutan has come back with a surprising result.
Basel Zoo in northwestern Switzerland said Thursday the test showed 5-month-old Padma wasn’t fathered by the male in her enclosure.
Keepers routinely take DNA samples from newborn orangutans because the endangered great apes are part of a breeding program.
Researchers at Basel University’s forensic laboratory compared Padma’s DNA to that of Budi, a 14-year-old male living in the same enclosure as the baby’s mother, Maja.
They found it didn’t match Budi’s DNA. Instead, it matched 18-year-old orangutan Vendel, who lives in the next enclosure.
It appears that for Maja and Vendel, the dominant male at Basel Zoo, the dividing fence was no obstacle to some monkey business. NVG