A remarkable new video is providing living proof that orangutans are incredibly intelligent primates. The clip, which was filmed at Tokyo’s Tama Zoo, shows how an orangutan beats the summer heat by dipping a washcloth in a pool of water and then draping it across its face.
During the two-minute video an orangutan repeatedly plunges a small towel into a cool pool of water, wrings it out in a human-like manner with his hands and then wipes it over its face. The primate even flips over the washcloth to keep the coolest side against its skin.
A younger orangutan watches the entire procedure and wants to join in, but the older animal scoots it aside.
Discovery News speculated, “Most likely, the adult orangutan was taught this behavior – since the washcloth was provided – but it appears to be acting spontaneously, putting his knowledge to good use on a hot day when a cleansing cool-off was refreshing.”
Tropical Rainforest Animals.com cites on their website the amazing intelligence of orangutans whose “human-like mental abilities allow them to adapt to their environment, learn new skills, plan their actions ahead and solve other everyday problems.”
According to author Richard R. Byrne, orangutans have been recorded doing the following actions:
- Sawing wood
- Hammering nails into wood
- Combing hair
- Applying insect repellent to their bodies
- Attempting to siphon liquid with a hose
Photo from adam_inglis via flickr.