(CNN) — Five words from popular talk show host Maury Povich helped Denver Zoo staff solve the months-long mystery that an orangutan gave birth to the calf Cesca: “Pirani, you're the father!” .
Last spring, when Sumatran orangutan Irina, Siska's mother, was confirmed pregnant, zoo staff weren't sure who the father was, according to Denver Zoo Director of Integrated Communications Jake Coby.
They knew there were two possibilities: 16-year-old Gaia, an orangutan who was transferred to the Denver Zoo as Irina's companion in 2019; Or Barani, 30 years old.
“After Siska was born on August 27, 2023, our animal health and animal care teams were very careful not to interfere with Eirina and Siska's bonding time and had to wait a few months before they could obtain a hair sample from Siska. “We had to wait a few months before we could get a hair sample from Siska,” Kobe told CNN in an email. “He was able to compare his DNA to samples from Birani and Jaya.”
She also noted that the zoo's animal care specialists had previously observed courtship and mating activity between Irina and Pirani, both of which are endangered species.
According to the Denver Zoo, there are still about 9,200 orangutans left in the wild. Gaia was brought to the zoo as part of the Sumatran Orangutan Species Survival Plan.
The DNA test finally revealed the results, and Kobe said he can only think of one person who could make the big announcement: the longest-serving daytime talk show host in television history.
The 84-year-old former host became known as the king of paternity test results after the revelations became a popular part of his show “Maury,” which ended in 2022 after 31 seasons.
“It made me wonder if Mori could help us with this announcement,” Coupe said.
So, he contacted Povich's former executive producer, who put the zoo in touch with Povich's executive assistant, according to Copier.
“This may be an unconventional idea, or maybe you get asked this stuff all the time, but I was wondering if you would be willing to help us out if we invited Morey to come clean,” Kobe says he wrote in an initial email to Povich's team. Results.” of fatherhood as only he can do.
Povich's assistant confirmed that the former talk show host was ready to make the big announcement.
The zoo received a video of Povich making the big reveal on Dec. 15, before accepting a special honor that same night, Kobe said.
“Maury Povich is a recent recipient of a Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Honor, and he is here to help us announce the paternity results of Siska, a 4-month-old Sumatran orangutan!” The Denver Zoo posted on X on December 19, along with the video in which Povich appears wearing a tux and holding a yellow envelope.
Fresh from receiving a Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Honor, Maury Povich is here to help us announce the paternity results for Cesca, a four-month-old Sumatran orangutan! Is Siska's father Barani thirty years old or Jaya sixteen years old? Watch the video for the big reveal!
– Denver Zoo (@DenverZoo) December 19, 2023
“About 4-month-old orangutan Cesca, Berani: You're the father!” Povich announced in the clip, which then shows the zoo team applauding the news.
“Working with Maury and his team was wonderful and we cannot express our gratitude enough for him sharing some of his time and energy to support us, especially on such an important day for him personally,” Coupe said.
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