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.

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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.

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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.

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