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Bornean orangutan from Milwaukee County Zoo coming to Phoenix Zoo

Rayma Bornean orangutan coming to Phoenix Zoo
Posted at 2:56 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 09:42:57-04

PHOENIX — A Bornean orangutan from the Milwaukee County Zoo is moving to the Phoenix Zoo.

In a video posted to the zoo's Facebook and Twitter accounts on Wednesday afternoon, Mary Yoder, collection manager of primates at the Phoenix Zoo, said Rayma, a 13-year-old Bornean orangutan, would travel to Phoenix on Thursday.

The primate is intended to be a companion for Daniel, a Bornean orangutan whose companion, Kasih (pronounced Kuh-see) died in October 2017.

"We are so excited for her to meet Daniel. And her birthday is on Friday (April 5). She's going to be 14 years old. So, we are super pumped," Yoder said in the video.

Linda Hardwick, spokesperson for the Phoenix Zoo, said the two primates have not been recommended to be a breeding pair so it is unknown if they will produce offspring. Right now, they are considered to be companions.

Rayma was supposed to make the move in November, but weather delayed her travel until now, according to Hardwick.

In a news release about Rayma's transfer published online in November, the Milwaukee Zoo described her as "curious, sweet and [a] gentle girl who loves oranges." She also likes bubble baths and playing with blankets, bags, plastic barrels, and bed sheets.

When she arrives, Hardwick said Rayma and Daniel will be separated for two weeks. Keepers will start with small interactions to see how the two primates get along.

The Milwaukee Zoo said Bornean orangutans are "critically endangered" as 55% of their habitats have been destroyed over the last 20 years due to the expansion of palm oil plantations, according to its release.