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

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BERLIN — A paternity test on a baby orangutan has come back with a surprising result.

Basel Zoo in northwestern Switzerland said Thursday that the test shows 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 her mother, Maja.

They found it didn’t match Budi’s DNA. Instead, it matched that of 18-year-old orangutan Vendel, who lives in the next enclosure.

It appears that for Maja and Vendel, the zoo’s dominant male, the dividing fence was no obstacle to some monkey business.

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