Observing a six month old baby girl orangutan, an eight year old son and their mother as they spend family time together in the Sumatran jungle in Indonesia. From the cameraman for this Earth-Touch video:
“Our interaction with the mother via our close observation of her behaviour is more cognitive than anything I have experienced with another animal. It is rather startling to look into her eyes and see her looking back with the same self-awareness and awareness of another.”
A great ape that we share 96.4% of our genetic makeup with, there are two species of Orangutans: Bornean and Sumatran. The Sumatran Orangutan is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates. They have lost 80% of their habitat in the last 20 years.
In the Malay language, Orang means “person” and hutan means “forest” — people of the forest.
Wait for it ……
This is moving and wonderful, yet somehow it made me sad, too.
Sad that we’ve just about wiped them out and surely will finish the job soon, sad that so few people think that matters, sad that still others would deny that we so OBVIOUSLY share common characteristics with these creatures and that it’s likely explained by our common ancestry.