ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Her keepers say she’s harmless but Brett Galloway knows that orangutans have a dark side.

The 54-year-old initially said no to a photo opportunity with the great ape, citing that he wouldn’t go into the enclosure unarmed or alone.

But his family convinced him.

He spoke to reporters this afternoon about the ordeal and the associated terror that comes with fraternising with wild animals.

“That orangutan could’ve ripped my arms off if she wanted,” he said.

“It was utterly terrifying. Honestly. Now I know why Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath take such pleasure in shooting large game like gorillas, elephants and hippos. Being close to them is very scary. Anyway, it made my daughter laugh,”

“But yeah. I was shitting myself the whole time.”

The orangutan that Mr Galloway is referring to is, Shoehorn, a 21-year-old juvenile that zookeepers feel is quiet enough to mingle with patrons.

In 1996, the town was given the chance to name the new ape, which was the firstborn in the Simpson Desert.

Much to the disgust to the rest of the nation, the people of Betoota ultimately decided to call the orangutan, Shoehorn.

Never the less, when asked if he still had a good time at the Royal Zoological Park of Betoota, Galloway said yes.

“It’s impossible to have a bad time at the zoo,”

“But that doesn’t mean you let your guard down for a second.”

More to come.





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