Orangutan gropes fitness instructor’s breasts at Thai zoo

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xf5tpabdiy546hw/VRP11756.mp4?dl=0

Bizarre footage shows an orangutan groping a visitor at a zoo in Thailand.

The primate – wearing a pair of black pants – appeared to be trained to hug and grab the breasts of female visitors.

Kanyapat Siripak sat on a wooden bench next to the creature at the Safari World park as the orangutan wrapped an arm around her.

It then grabbed her breasts while a handler gave instructions from a few feet away on December 6.

The encounter lasted for two minutes with the orangutan kissing Kanyapat and cupping her breasts as visitors took pictures on smartphones.

Kanyapat, a fitness instructor, said: ‘The orangutan was so cute. It was funny for me and the people who were watching. I think he was very well taken care of and special.’

Despite the amusing incident, animal rights groups warned that petting animals at zoos during the pandemic could risk transmission of Covid-19.

Thailand – with 24,714 infections and 82 deaths – has had two lockdowns since the pandemic started and restricted international arrivals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said they have urged Thai government to ban petting exotic animals for ‘photo opportunities’.

In a letter to Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, PETA’s Senior Vice President Jason Baker wrote: ‘The risk to captive animals, staff, and members of the public who interact with captive wildlife is quite real and very serious.

‘PETA has confirmed that the Samutprakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo, Tiger Kingdom, and Safari World are allowing visitors to come in close contact with tigers, orangutans, monkeys or other animals for photos. Places like these have numerous guests every day, and it would take only one infected person to start another coronavirus disaster.’

PETA warned that stressful public handling puts vulnerable animals – who may have weakened immune systems – at serious risk of not only contracting the virus but also not recovering if infected.

The letter also noted that if big cats and primates catch the virus, it can mutate and another new strain might be unleashed on the human population.