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article imageOverweight orangutan put on diet

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 8, 2010 in World
Wareham - An orangutan believed to be the fattest primate in Britain has been put on a diet and exercise program. At 100 kg (15 stone) Oshine weighs double her natural body weight.
The orangutan was a pet in South Africa for 13 years, but now lives at Monkey World in Dorset.
The animals owner contacted the centre because she realised she could not provide her with an appropriate lifestyle.
Oshine made ten-and-a-half hour trip from Johannesburg to London, arriving at Heathrow Airport on August 31.
''The long-haul journey for such a delicate endangered species such as an orang-utan is fraught with difficulties and danger,” The Telegraph reported Dr Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, as saying.
''With Oshine's weight problem we were especially concerned about her travel arrangements and making sure that the journey was stress-free and safe.''
A transport box was taken to South Africa a few days before the flight so that the primate could get used to it.
''Getting to know her, making friends, and playing in the travel crate days ahead of the journey made a real difference as we did not have to anaesthetise Oshine to get her to go into her travelling crate,'' said Cronin.
She is now getting used to being with other orang-utans and is on a diet of fruits and vegetables.
Once learns more about life with others of her kind and is in better shape, she will be placed into one of two breeding groups at Monkey World.
''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,” said Cronin
Monkey World is a member of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for orang-tans, golden-cheeked gibbons and woolly monkeys.
Wild orang-utans in danger mainly because of habitat loss.
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