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Albert goes ape for Austen

A 40-year-old orangutan has developed an unnerving obsession with Pride & Prejudice. 

Albert, a 200lb (91kg) primate reads up to 50 pages a day of Austen’s book.

And he’s so gripped that unless he’s had at least half-an-hour of Elizabeth Bennet’s travails with Mr Darcy, he won’t sleep at night. 

Michael Krause, Albert’s keeper at Gdansk Zoo, in Poland, revealed: “Albert’s favourite book is Pride & Prejudice while his partner Raya likes German fiction. But they both like cookery books.

“When we’re doing dramatic readings they like me to act out all the movements.”

The bedtime stories came about because the pair would not settle down at night.

Mr Krause said: “If you gave them a fruit snack they’d throw it around, if you tried to wear them out with play, they’d just get hyper.
 
“I didn’t know what to do until I pulled out a book I was reading during a break and within a couple of minutes they were trying to read over my shoulder.
 
“Now they go to bed quietly and peacefully as long as they get their stories.”

Read this and lots more from the Austen world in the new issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World, out now.

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