There are many pictures that are worth a thousand words, and this one is definitely one of them. The touching image was captured in a conservation forest area in Borneo – Asia’s largest island – and shows a beautiful moment when an orangutan lends a helping hand to a man “in trouble” standing nearby in a small pond.
Anil Prabhakar, an amateur photographer from Indonesia, was out on safari with his friends when he witnessed the primate’s soul-stirring kind act and captured the powerful moment just in time.
According to Prabhakar, the man in the photo is a forest warden who went down there to clear away the snakes in the water in order to protect the orangutans in the area, as snakes are a major threat to such creatures. It was part of his job at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of this endangered species, which currently cares for nearly 650 orangutans and has 400 members.
“Someone told him there was a snake in the river,” recalled the photographer. “The warden went over there and cut down the bushes.” An orangutan approached the banks and observed what he was doing. He then approached and extended his hand.”
The compassionate orangutan appeared to be concerned that his human friend might be attacked by snakes in the pond, so he immediately thought of something he could do to help. Despite being moved by his kindness, the warden chose to refuse his hand because the great ape was a wild animal and he needed to be cautious.
“The warden simply moved away,” Prabhakar explained. “When I asked him why, he said, ‘It’s a wild animal, not one we’re familiar with.'” They are, however, there to protect them.”
Orangutans are native to the Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests. They are among the most intelligent non-human primates, with some truly amazing technical construction knowledge when it comes to building a nest that can support their weight. This species primarily feeds on fruits and can forage using simple tools.
Unfortunately, the orangutan is now classified as critically endangered due to severe population and range declines.
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H/T: The Sun