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Monkey World News

Tubby orangutan arrives at Monkey World

Thursday 9th September 2010

AN OBESE orangutan has been transported from South Africa to Monkey World. 

Rescuers have flown Oshine from Johannes-burg to Heathrow after she became morbidly obese while being kept as a pet for the past 13 years.

Oshine weighs 100kg – twice her natural body weight – making her the heaviest orangutan in the country.

Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, said: “We’ve been working to give Oshine a more natural life with others for more than a year.

“The long-haul journey for an endangered species such as an orangutan is fraught with difficulties and danger.

“With Oshine’s weight problem we were especially concerned about her travel arrangements and making sure that the journey was stress-free and safe.”

She added: “Now that she’s at the park, we have her on a healthy diet of vegetables and fruits and she is getting a lot more exercise climbing through the specially-designed, two storey orangutan crèche.”

Oshine’s owner first contacted Monkey World for help in 2008.

The Monkey World team went to Johannesburg with a specially-designed transport box several days before to the move to get to know Oshine and familiarise her with the transport crate.

Dr Cronin added: “Getting to know her, making friends, and playing in the travel crate ahead of the journey made a real difference as we did not have to anaesthetise Oshine to get her to go into her crate.”

Although a fully-grown adult, Oshine is now living in the orangutan crèche at Monkey World.

The creche receives any captive-born babies in Europe whose mothers abandon them. She is meeting other orangutans for the first time.

Once she loses weight, gets fitter, and understands more about orangutan behaviour, she will graduate into one of two breeding groups of orangutans kept at Monkey World, where it is hoped that she can start her own family.

Dr Cronin said: “It will take a few months for Oshine to reach a more appropriate weight and then she will be ready to meet a new man and consider a family of her own.”

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