START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
3,452,685 people care about Animal Welfare

Orangutan Uses Wet Towel To Cool Off (Video)

Orangutan Uses Wet Towel To Cool Off (Video)


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 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

Related Stories:

Victory Caribbean Airlines Stops Shipping Primates For Research

Exotic Birds and Monkeys Rescued In Tennessee

Debunking Dolphin Therapy For Autism

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo from adam_inglis via flickr.

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
1:33AM PDT on Aug 5, 2014

It's been deleted!

12:48AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014


9:44PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

I wish they could talk and tell us how stupid we are

11:26AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

There is another account (and video) of an orang who once lived with people. It learned to wash clothes, and use a cloth to wash surfaces. It still does this in its orang sanctuary.

1:45AM PST on Jan 10, 2012

meet ancestor

11:26PM PST on Jan 6, 2012

Cool, didn't have much doubt of their intelligence. Just wish video were available.

7:43PM PST on Jan 6, 2012

Very sweet. Thanks for sharing this video.

1:08PM PST on Jan 6, 2012

cute!!!! thankyou.

2:16AM PST on Jan 6, 2012


6:56AM PST on Dec 5, 2011

Thanks for sharing

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

As someone still paying off his children's prodigious college loans I was keenly interested in this organization,…

thank god it was saved, never had snakes, but realise theyre vital to our eco system, and they are quite…

Unfortunately palm oil is needed by the food manufactures because of the ban on trans fats in food (remember…

meet our writers

Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK


Civil Rights


Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights


Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.