Authorities say Minyak was undergoing a routine checkup for air sacculitis, a condition he's had since infancy, when he went into cardiac and respiratory arrest. Officials say they were unable to resuscitate him.
Minyak first came to the L.A. Zoo in December 2001 from Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta due to his poor health. His condition improved for some time after arriving in the Southland, but his problems resurfaced.
Zoo officials say Minyak underwent a surgery in January 2003 to remove his air sac, which was a groundbreaking operation never before attempted on a mature ape.
Despite his medical issues, Minyak fathered two female baby orangutans, and according to zookeepers, he was extremely cooperative.