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A Rare Photo of Orangutan Using A Spear Tells Us He Is NOT Monkeying Around

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Orangutan

Palm oil plantations are increasingly threatening the livelihood of orangutans in areas like Borneo and Sumatra. Trees continue to get cut down for product and profit. However, these primates are learning fast and seek to adapt to their changing environment. In a series of photographs, a determined orangutan is captured using a spear to hunt for fish. This is the first time an image like this has been captured. Perhaps it serves as a simple yet gentle reminder of our evolutionary past. 

Habitats are being destroyed and this orangutan is not sitting on the sidelines when it comes to survival.

Our behavior leaves a mark and these jungle dwellers are making the most of it. After observing a group of locals hunting with manmade spears, this go-getting orangutan gave it a try. While making a spear of his own proved to be too difficult, the orangutan was able to catch fish using a pole in areas where prey was already caught in fishing lines.

 

This image was taken for a book called Thinkers of the Jungle, which features iconic images of orangutans and their clever minds. Author Gerd Schuster shares, “We all recognise these highly intelligent and impressive animals – orangutans. But very few people know anything about how they live and their habits. Around 6,000 of these animals die every year; they are among the world’s most endangered species!”

 

Tool use among orangutans is nothing new. In 1994, Carel van Schaik observed a group of orangutans open pulpy fruits with sticks in Sumatra. While this may seem like a simple task to an evolved humankind, tool use also represents advanced cultural significance. According to anthropologists, this is because the entire clan has agreed upon a single act and carries it through in the same fashion. 

 

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