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Arts and Entertainment

Betty White Honored With Baby Orangutan Named After Her "Hot in Cleveland" Character

Betty White sits with mother orangutan Kalim and baby Elka (Photo by Tad Motoyama/Courtesy GLAZA)
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Actress Betty White recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and to honor one of entertainment's most respected young ladies, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) arranged to name the Los Angeles Zoo's new baby orangutan after White's "Hot in Cleveland" character "Elka."

White, a longtime Zoo supporter and animal activist, was also feted by the Zoo for her birthday and her 50 years of devotion to the L.A. Zoo.

From a GLAZA release:

"How appropriate that the most beautiful baby orangutan ever is named for my 'Hot in Cleveland' character Elka Ostrovsky," said White, tongue-in-cheek. "I'm truly thrilled that TV Land's generous contribution is supporting my beloved Los Angeles Zoo."
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TV Land, the network where you'll find "Hot in Cleveland," secured the chance to name the orangutan through GLAZA's Animal Naming Program.

While many of know White well, we may not know about Elka. She's a Bornean orangutan, and is the second baby for the Zoo's female Bornean orangutan, Kalim and father Minyak, one of two orangutan males at the Zoo. A little more naming trivia, courtesy GLAZA: "In the Malay language orang means person and utan means forest." Incidentally, for her decades of cherished work in television, the name Betty White pretty much means awesome.