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Monkey World News

UK's fattest orangutan sheds pounds

Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tubby Oshine tipped the scales at 220lbs - more than double her natural weight - and after switching to a new regime has lost 44lbs in the last 11 months.

The 14-year-old ape has cut out sweets, jelly and marshmallows and instead tucks into a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables and plenty of exercise.

Oshine the orangutan before her diet which has resulted in her losing 20kg in the last 11 months

Oshine arrived at Monkey World in Dorset last year from Johannesburg in South Africa having been kept as a pet for 13 years. Her sedentary and unnatural lifestyle meant her weight rocketed.

Now following intensive work by keepers at the rescue centre, Oshine has lost a fifth of her weight, is exercising, scaling a 20-metre climbing frame and has even adopted an orphaned baby orangutan named Silvestre.

"With Monkey World's help, Oshine has turned her life around," said director Alison Cronin. "When she arrived at the rescue centre she was morbidly obese and ran the risk of developing heart disease, blood clots, high blood pressure, and diabetes. We have been quite strict with her diet and have removed all sweets and processed foods that she used to get in addition to her normal diet and it has worked."

Monkey World is home to Europe's only orangutan creche. As members of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for this species, Monkey World not only breeds orangutans, but also offers a home to any babies born in European zoos that are orphaned.

The main threat to the orangutan in the wild is habitat loss due to the logging of primary forest for agricultural land and, in particular, the unsustainable palm oil industry.

They are also used in the entertainment industry or as pets and, although this is illegal, it is a growing industry in Southeast Asia.

Monkey World also breeds the critically endangered golden-cheeked gibbons and woolly monkeys at the park, as part of the EEP.


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