Zoo’s Baby Orangutan Named “Elka” for Betty White’s Character on “Hot in Cleveland”


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Betty White continues her streak as “it girl” and America’s most beloved celebrity by scoring a namesake at the LA Zoo. As a final gift in the month long celebration of Betty White’s 90th birthday, TV Land and the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) have partnered to name the zoo’s baby orangutan after Betty’s “Hot in Cleveland” character, a role for which she received an Emmy nomination. Betty White is a GLAZA Co-Chairman and has spent the past 50 years working tirelessly for the animals.

Baby “Elka” is “a Bornean orangutan, is the second baby for the Zoo’s female Bornean orangutan, Kalim and father Minyak, one of two orangutan males at the Zoo. Orangutans are native to the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest. Decked out in long, shaggy, orange-red hair, orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling mammals.” (Press Release)

If you would like to participate in the Animal Naming conservation program, you can also do so with donations ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, depending upon the animal species. Maybe there is a dung beetle you can name after an ex-boyfriend.

Photo by Tad Motoyama

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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