THE LATEST addition at Purbeck’s Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre holds the unenviable title of the largest orang-utan in Britain.

Oshine, a morbidly obese adult female, weighs in at a massive 100kg, which is double her natural bodyweight.

Experts say Oshine piled on the pounds because of her unnatural lifestyle – she was kept as a pet for 13 years in South Africa and led a sedentary existence.

But a crash diet and plenty of exercise will hopefully work wonders, says Monkey World director Dr Alison Cronin.

“Now that she is at the park, we have her on a healthy diet of vegetables and fruits and she is getting a lot more exercise climbing through the specially designed, two story orang-utan creche,” said Dr Cronin.

“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.”

Because of Oshine’s poor condition, her journey from Johannesburg was not an easy one.

Dr Cronin explained: “The long haul journey for such a delicate endangered species such as an orang-utan is fraught with difficulties and danger.

“With Oshine’s weight problem we were especially concerned about her travel arrangements and making sure that the journey was stress-free and safe.”

Oshine travelled in a specially-designed transport crate, which she was introduced to by the Monkey World team several days before making the trip.

Dr Cronin said: “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.”

Oshine is currently staying at the Dorset sanctuary’s orang-utan creche, that receives captive-born babies whose mothers abandon them.

Once she loses weight and gets fitter she will graduate into one of the Monkey World’s two orang-utan breeding groups.