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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Zoo Keeper NOT Accused of Impregnating Female Orangutan in Indonesia

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 02 Feb 2019 08:47:58 Z)

Was a 38-year-old zoo keeper in Surabaya, Indonesia arrested after having sex with a female orangutan and impregnating the animal? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real. The hoax was published in 2015 and got endlessly copied by other sites ever since. It recently resurfaced again.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on December 16, 2015 titled "Indonesia: Zoo Keeper Accused of Impregnating Female Orangutan" (archived here) which opened:

Surabaya | 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, reports the Kalimantan Press this morning.

The 38-year-old zoo keeper was filmed in full action by a series of hidden cameras put in place by the zoo's security officials after doubts emerged about the man's devious actions towards the zoo animals.

"Some animals seemed sexually aroused when it was time to feed them" explains Akhiroel Yahya, employee of the zoo for 14 years.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/indonesia-zoo-keeper-accused-of-impregnating-female-orangutan/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, with no indication it didn't come from a reliable news source:

Indonesia: Zoo Keeper Accused of Impregnating Female Orangutan

Surabaya | 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, reports the Kalimantan Press this morning. The 38-year-old zoo keeper was filmed in full action by a series of

But there is no publication named "Kalimantan Press" and the picture of the orangutan already appeared in a 2011 news article so it can't have been a photo of an animal made pregnant in 2015:

Who ape all the pies? Orangutan kicks back with a full belly in the midday sun

It looks like this orangutan got more than her fair share of the Christmas hamper. Louise Bleakly, 69, snapped the portly primate as she lazed by a tree after over-indulging. The sedentary creature soaked up the midday sun at Taman Safari Park near Jakarta, Indonesia - and was too lazy to even swing on the trees and ropes.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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