I saw this show up in either a Facebook group or on Firefox earlier this morning. Very Unexpected Paternity Test Results Creates Scandal At Swiss Zoo: https://travelandsport.pw/very-unexpected-paternity-test-results-creates-scandal-at-swiss-zoo/. See the link below to the Zoo’s article which isn’t as sensational as the title in the link above.
At the center of it all is the 5-month-old Padma, whose paternity test threw up some unexpected results. To get to the nitty-gritty of the story, her father is not who the keepers thought he was.
Orangutans (Pongo abelii) at Basel Zoo are part of the Endangered Species Program. This means staff try to match couples so that the male and female orangutans have as little DNA in common as physically possible to encourage as much genetic diversity within t.he zoo as they can. And so, 11-year-old Maja was paired with 14-year-old Budi.
Only the results of the paternity test show that Budi is not little Padma’s biological father. That responsibility lies with 18-year-old Vendel, the zoo’s dominant male who just so happens to be living in an entirely different enclosure to Maja.
Again, a case of truth being stranger than fiction. When we hear about paternity being questioned, it tends to be a case involving humans. I double-checked a number of other sites, including various news media outlets on the off-chance this was a hoax. It’s also listed on the Zoo’s English website: https://www.zoobasel.ch/en/index.php, with a link to the article on their website: https://www.zoobasel.ch/en/aktuell/detail.php?NEWSID=1180.
Until now, these tests have not thrown up any surprises. But there is a first time for everything: Padma’s father turned out to be Vendel (18), who Maja sometimes meets at the fence, and not Budi (14), who lives with Maja! From a biological perspective, this is less surprising. As the only male at Basel Zoo with cheek pads, Vendel is very easy to spot. He is also the dominant male of the three male orangutans at the zoo. In the wild, female orangutans similarly tend to look for – and pair up with – males with cheek pads when they are in heat. Non-dominant males also like to try their luck with females, usually with great success. However, it seems that the females simply cannot resist a male with cheek pads.
From \Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basel_Zoo. They don’t mention it yet, but give it time and somebody will update Wikipedia.