Chesterton Tribune

Brookfield Zoo orangutan celebrating 51st birthday

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CHICAGO (AP) — Maggie the orangutan is celebrating the big Five-One.

The Brookfield Zoo’s oldest Bornean orangutan turned 51 years old on Wednesday, earning her the distinction as the oldest of her kind living in an accredited North American Zoo.

Maggie was born in 1961 at San Diego Zoo, where she gave birth to four offspring. She’s never given birth at Brookfield Zoo, but her time there has been memorable.

In 1996, she served as a surrogate mother to an infant male whose real mother failed to care for him. And in 2004, she received national attention after an extreme makeover that included losing 90 unwanted pounds.

That happened after Maggie was diagnosed with a hypothyroid condition.

Today, a svelte and playful Maggie is on exhibit most afternoons at the zoo.

Posted 7/19/2012