A peeling gift: Oranges for 7-billionth global citizen

Newborn Russian boy Petya, who vied for the title on 7-billionth person, has received his first ever gift – 70 boxes of oranges from the Republic of South Africa. A symbolic head full of sunny fruits has been delivered directly to his hospital ward.

­Little Petya Nikolaev, from Russia’s European enclave of Kaliningrad, showed no reaction to the present, which farmers sent especially for him from faraway South Africa – he was peacefully sleeping in his mother’s arms. But for his mother Elena, the certificate for a tonne of oranges came as a major surprise.

The ceremony was held in the hospital where the boy was born in the early hours of October 31. Of course Petya’s family does not need to find urgently a place for 70 15-kilogram boxes of fruit. The certificate allows for the oranges to be received at any time that would be convenient for the boy’s parents.

Petya is the third child in his family, so he has enough helpers to finish the whole tonne of citrus fruit pretty quickly.

Babies at opposite ends of the world, all born on October 31, have been vying for the title of the world’s 7-billionth person. But the United Nations decided that the “award” should go to a newborn girl from Philippines.

In Russia, a symbolic “7-billionth person” certificate was given to three newborns at the same time – one came to Kaliningrad, another to the Far East and a third to St. Petersburg.

Each of them received a special UN certificate and memorable gifts from local authorities.

UN officials say that millions of births around the world each day made it impossible to say for sure which of the babies is the planet’s 7-billionth citizen.

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