LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 31-year-old male orangutan died at the Los Angeles Zoo, officials announced Friday.

Minyak, who suffered from a chronic respiratory illness since infancy, died Thursday of cardiac and respiratory arrest.

The primate came to the zoo from Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta in Dec. 2001 because it was believed the drier climate could help his lifespan.

After a groundbreaking surgery to remove an air sac in 2003, Minyak went on to father two female orangutans in the Red Ape Rain Forest exhibit.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)



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