Fact Check

Was an Irish Tourist 'Savagely Raped' by a Huge Orangutan?

Reports that a man was assaulted by a 400-pound primate originated on a hoax news web site.

Published Apr 26, 2017

 (Pornthep Chitphong / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Pornthep Chitphong / Shutterstock.com
An orangutan raped an Irish tourist in Indonesia.

On 19 April 2017, entertainment web site World News Daily Report published a fictional article which appeared to report that a hapless Irish tourist had been brutally assaulted by a 400-pound orangutan in Borneo:

An ecologist’s dream to watch orangutans in their natural habitat quickly turned into his worst nightmare after being savagely attacked and raped by a 400-pound orangutan in the jungle of Borneo.

Zack O’Reilly, a young 26-year-old from Ireland, who is presently studying biology at Dublin city University and has been a Greenpeace activist for the past three years, had always dreamed of seeing orangutans in their natural habitat and was a strong advocate against the palm oil industry, which is a great threat to the endangered species.

There is no truth to this story. World News Daily Report is a well-known fake news web site that has a long history of publishing misinformation. The web site also carries a disclaimer that clearly labels its content as fictional:

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.

The fake story was picked up by other sites, which lent it a veneer of legitimacy — but it remains completely untrue.


Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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