b53f/1242938638-daniel1.jpgTechnically orangutans aren't monkeys — they're apes, like gorillas and chimps (and humans). But the FMB team has decided to make an exception for Daniel, the undisputed star of The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The little guy just celebrated his third birthday last month, and while he's becoming more and more independent, he still spends quite a bit of time clinging to his mom Kayla.

Daniel is an energetic orangutan who still gets away with more than his older siblings, sister Kitra and "adopted" sister Kera. And he's getting better at climbing up, down and around his habitat under the geodesic dome at the center of The RainForest.

Daniel's birth was carefully planned, as the Zoo works with others to manage an orangutan breeding program that aims to perpetuate the population of endangered orangutans. Bornean orangutans face the prospect of extinction due to habitat loss in their native Asia.

More photos after the jump.


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