THE unlikely bond between an injured chick and an orang-utan has evolved into a sexual relationship, it emerged last night.
Visitors to London Zoo watched in amazement last week as four-year-old ape Maxwell delicately cradled a tiny baby coot – which has since been named Blossom – after the abandoned chick tumbled into his enclosure.
Zookeeper Tom Logan said: “Orang-utans are powerful animals and can be aggressively territorial. So seeing Maxwell cup the limp, shivering bird in the palm of his broad hand and offer it a piece of dried fruit was a truly special moment.
“The pair, both orphans, soon became inseparable. Their odd yet affectionate companionship appeared to be proof that animals possess the quality we often describe as ‘humanity’.”
However the following week the two creatures were discovered frantically stimulating each others’ genitals in a bush.
Logan said: “Their relationship has developed in a new and somewhat disconcerting way. Certainly their activities have prompted some awkward questions from school parties.
“On the positive side, the sexual attraction appears to be mutual. It’s not like Maxwell is molesting Blossom. Blossom is very evidently keen.
“Is that positive? I suppose it is.
“Anyway their lovemaking is tender, or certainly as tender as possible given the tremendous size difference. So we let them get on with it.
“I guess the new moral is don’t judge, or something like that.”
Inter-species sexual relationships are rare but not unheard of. In 1993 a cat was filmed wanking off a mouse in a Berlin suburb.