Hoax Alert: Indonesian Zookeeper WAS NOT Accused Of Impregnating Female Orangutan

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke

A story spreading fast on social nets, especially via Instagram, purports that a "zoo keeper at Indonesia's Surabaya zoo has been arrested and charged with sexual assault on a number of animals and even, strangely enough, of impregnating a female orangutan."

While this is a hoax, there is a small seed of truth in that it was documented that a female orangutan was freed from use as a sex slave in an Indonesian village about 20 years ago. More on that in a moment.

How do we know this is a hoax story? First, the photos used to illustrate it were taken from other online sites. The mugshot of the purported security guard at the zoo is actually from an unrelated case in Singapore.

The photo allegedly showing the sexually assaulted orangutan was originally published in the Daily Telegraph of London in 2011 with the caption: "Louise Bleakly snapped this obese orangutan as it lazed by a tree after over-indulging. The sedentary creature soaked up the midday sun at Taman Safari Park near Jakarta, Indonesia."

The inspiration for the hoax story appears to be a documentary viewable on YouTube about an orangutan rescue organization in Indonesia. The short film included a clip of "amateur video" apparently recorded in the 1990s of a female orangutan who was shaved and chained in a room at a Borneo brothel for use by customers who preferred the animal over a human prostitute. That sex slave orangutan, named Pony, was rescued and rehabilitated so the she was returned to the wild.

Click ahead to the 12:40 mark on the documentary below to see the clip.

Lead Stories' Trendolizer is busy detecting hoaxes as they begin trending. This happens a lot as social media users tend to be gullible. If you have a friend who posts this hoax, we suggested you share this story with them.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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