Who's the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test

Who's the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test
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. ( Zoo Basel via AP)

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 Vendel, who lives in the next enclosure.

It appears that for Maja and Vendel, the at Basel Zoo, the dividing fence was no obstacle to some monkey business.

  • Who's the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test
    In this undated photo, released Thursday Jan. 31, 2019, by Zoo Basel, zoo keepers routinely take DNA samples from female orangutan female orangutan Maya to determine the paternity of her daughter Padma at the Basel Zoo. ( Zoo Basel via AP)
  • Who's the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test
    In this undated photo, released Thursday Jan. 31, 2019, by Zoo Basel, zoo keepers routinely take DNA samples from female orangutan Maya to determine the paternity of her daughter Padma at the Basel Zoo. ( Zoo Basel via AP)

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More information: Basel Zoo: www.zoobasel.ch/en/aktuell/index.php

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Who's the daddy? Surprise in Swiss orangutan paternity test (2019, January 31) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-daddy-swiss-orangutan-paternity.html
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