Maury Povich Hilariously Helps Solve Paternity Dispute After Surprise Orangutan Pregnancy at Denver Zoo

The legendary TV host announced the results ahead of being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Daytime Emmys.

"Berani, you are the father!"

Dressed in a tuxedo and just hours away from receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Daytime Emmys in downtown Los Angeles last week, Maury Povich opened a manila envelope and read the paternity results printed on a Maury notecard to once and for all solve the mystery pregnancy of an orangutan at the famed Denver Zoo.

Jake Kubié, the Director of Communications at the Denver Zoo, tells ET that Povich's help came about when he contacted the legendary TV host's former executive producer to see if Povich would be willing to announce the results. Kubié says the executive producer then put him in touch with Povich's personal assistant, and they were off to the races. 

At the center of it all was the Sumatran orangutan named Eirina, who on Aug. 27 gave birth to daughter, Siska. While there certainly was reason to celebrate the momentous occasion, zoo officials were puzzled as to who fathered Siska. And there were only two suspects -- 30-year-old Berani or 16-year-old Jaya, who was brought in to the zoo in 2019 specifically to be Eirina's mate.

But after Eirina gave birth, Kubié said the zoo's care and health teams couldn't interfere with the new mother's bonding time. So, they had to wait. And, after a few months, the team was finally able to get a hair sample from the baby orangutan to compare it to Berani and Jaya's DNA samples.

Enter Povich.

Kubié tells ET that Povich's assistant informed him his boss was down to announce the paternity results, a Povich custom that became a permanent fixture on daytime television for decades. Kubié said the Denver Zoo received the video on the afternoon of Dec. 16, just hours before Povich and his wife, the legendary newscaster Connie Chung, walked the red carpet at the 50th Daytime Emmy Creative Arts and Lifestyle Awards at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

"When it comes to the orangutan, 4-month-old Siska, Berani, you are the father!" exclaimed Povich in his trademark style in a video shared by the Denver Zoo's Twitter account. 

The video then cuts to zoo officials celebrating the paternity results. Berani's also shown in the video, though it's unclear if he was celebrating or fuming.


In any event, Kubié says the Denver Zoo's eternally grateful that Povich made this exciting news even more special. That Povich announced yet another paternity result on the day he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys is fitting. After the big honor, Povich spoke exclusively to ET and said he's proud to have his trademark delivery --  "You ARE the father" and "You are NOT the father" -- be his TV legacy.

"They're gonna remember, 'you are the father, you are not the father,'' he said. "That's what they're gonna remember."

The 84-year-old TV legend also shared that it's even an honor when people -- and now a zoo! -- request that he say it on the street.

"Well, I react very favorably because if you're on television every day and nobody recognizes you, you're in trouble," he shared. "I've always been very generous with my time in public because I believe in that."