Watch: Paris zoo's resident artist Nenette the orangutan turns 50

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Nenette mixes her palette
Nenette mixes her palette   -   Copyright  Reuters

France's most famous orangutan Nenette, resident artist at the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Paris, is about to turn 50.

The Borneo-born ape arrived at the zoo aged three in 1972 and took up painting several years ago, unprompted and untrained.

She works in crayon and watercolour, on paper or using the glass of her enclosure as a canvas.

Christelle Hano, who joined the zoo in 1999, has been taking care of Nenette for the last 20 years.

"I think they could be paintings done by a three-year-old child. I think she's just as gifted as other people and that art isn't up for debate," she said of Nenette's works.

Nenette's paintings have previously been sold to raise funds for a new orangutan enclosure, with one painting having fetched thousands of euros.

The gifted great ape is due to celebrate her birthday with a grand party at the zoo on Sunday when she will be treated to a birthday cake and will share her talents in an art workshop.

Video editor • Alexis Caraco