Text Sources: National Geographic, Natural History magazine, Smithsonian magazine, Wikipedia, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, Top Secret Animal Attack Files website, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, The Economist, BBC, and various books and other publications. "So until we come up with a better screen or a better case, I'm going to hold onto the iPad." "We estimate that five die for every one that reaches the market," said Peter Pratje, a conservationist whose work is sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Using their hands, the orangutans can respond to simple questions, identify objects and express their wants or needs. The centre's veterinarian defended the facility, situated in the tourist town of Bukit Merah, which opened in 2000 and now houses 25 orangutans. An estimated 2,000 orangutans were smuggled from Indonesia to Taiwan, where they for about $4,000 a piece. "It is the pride of Malaysians and it is aimed at helping ensure our orangutans do not become extinct," said Sabapathy. Some have even improved on human technology. "I love them. "I guarantee you will get the best quality," Yommy said, promising delivery within a week. Read More, Away deep in the woods, life goes on at Camp Rendell, an adjunct facility to OFI’s Care Center in Central Borneo. Once the novelty wears off, many of the animals spend their lives in cages, alone and neglected. Orangutans in laboratory situations have learned sign language about as fast and effectively as their gorilla and chimpanzee counterparts. If you thought the Lyre Bird was a good mimic, you're in for a treat. But the trade continues. There are nearly 30,000 orangutans in the wild. Orangutans also like to play with dogs, cats and small children. Read about the world famous Tanjung Puting National Park. The Bornean orangutan can live up to 50 years. Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling animals in the world 7 Intelligence Milestones They're not Rise of the Planet of the Apes smart, but they're no dummies. Because the animals are so intelligent, Jacobs said their minds must be kept active to prevent them from getting bored or depressed. This ape spends very little time on the ground; living primarily in the trees. The study suggests they are capable of more complex communication than previously thought, and resort to mimes to elaborate on messages directed at other apes and their former keepers. Orangutans are innovators. Sabapathy said infants were only removed from their mothers if they were underweight, neglected and at risk of dying, and that some mothers raised their own babies, including one born in May. ability to plan. The park is one of several zoos experimenting with computers and apes, letting its six orangutans use an iPad to communicate and as part of a mental stimulus program. The orangutans at Miami's Jungle Island apparently are just like people when it comes to technology. One animal indicated to researchers that it wanted a haircut, as a ruse to divert their attention while it stole something, according to the study. Orangutans in the wild use tools made from branches and leaves to scratch, scrape, wipe, sponge, swat, fan, hook, probe, scoop, pry, chisel, hammer, cover, cushion and amplify. To obtain the 2,000 orangutans that made it alive to Taiwan, an estimated 4,000 died after capture and 6,000 mothers were killed to obtain the babies. Orangutans are the only great apes—besides humans—to ‘talk’ about the past. All rights reserved. The great intelligence of orangutans is one strong reason (but not the only reason) to respect them as one of our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom and keep them alive as populations in the wild. Learn about these critically endangered rainforest primates. They found 18 scenes in which orangutans appeared to be acting out simple mimes to convey information to other animals or people. Is there an update to the discovery? "IPads seem to work for humans. "Azy has a rich mental life," Rob Shumaker told National Geographic of his study subject and friend of 25 years. The orange apes simply tore down the walls and knocked holes in the roof to get in. The question is why are they so smart. They travel, eat, and sleep in the forest canopy, making a new sleeping nest most nights. It is thought, therefore, that they consist of two different species. Gypsy, who is thought to be 51 years old, quite elderly for an orangutan, became sick during the rainy season and was given medicine similar to that used for humans. The devices have been a great addition to the enrichment programs Jungle Island already does with the orangutans, Jacobs said. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. Orangutan Legacy Forest – Land Purchase Program, OFI’s Rescued orangutan on permanent loan to the Honolulu Zoo, OFI has a Geographic Information System Mapping program, Orangutans’ feet have opposable toes! self-awareness. I was enthralled reading this very enlightening article. [Ibid], Orangutan Short-Circuits Electric Fence in Zoo 'Escape', In May 2009, The Telegraph reported: “An "ingenious" 137-pound (62-kilogram) orang-utan used a branch to short-circuit an electric fence and escape from an Australian zoo only to change her mind and return to her enclosure. Orangutans are among the few animal species with a sense of self. In the wild, orangutans keep innovative cultural traditions: Some groups construct foraging tools for extracting insects from tree holes; others use leaves as rain hats or napkins, wad them up as pillows, or line their hands with them when climbing a spiky tree. They ate candles, drank shampoo and sucked on batteries like lifesavers. One female used a digging stick to pull pieces of burning charcoal from a fire. Sometime they are trained to be servants: performing simple tasks such as opening doors and fetching food. Wild orangutans (P. pygmaeus wurmbii) in Tuanan, Borneo, were observed using tools to aid acoustic communication, using leaves to amplify their ‘kiss-squeak’ vocalisations. The life span of the orangutan is about 50 years in … Tuah lies calmly in his cot with his eyes wide open and hands across his chest, hooked up to cables monitoring his heart beat and oxygen levels, ignoring the passing parade. Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program, hopes the devices will eventually help bridge the gap between humans and the endangered apes. Chimpanzee - Chimpanzee - Intelligence: Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and are able to solve many kinds of problems posed to them by human trainers and experimenters. Orangutans were visible everywhere, even in Snake Alley in Taipei. Orangutans live on two different large islands, Borneo and Sumatra. They are by far the most arboreal of the larger apes, living almost exclusively in the rainforest canopy. A trainer then names one of the objects, and the ape presses the corresponding button. Then he'd go to sleep and 12 hours later set on the heralded path, said study author Carel van Schaik, director of the Anthropological Institute at the University of Zurich. Further, their studies address whether relatively intense contact with humans (relative to wild orangutans) influences orangutan behavior and intelligence. It is like taking care of a small child," she said. The video record ensures maximum objectivity in that the researchers will have ample time and opportunity to observe behaviors that may have been missed during visual observation and to code the behaviors and do statistical. "We're putting together what we're calling primate playdates or red ape rendezvous, which is to say connecting the orangutans in different facilities," Zimmerman said. Based on that, they're planning what to do next." Orangutans are renowned for their high intelligence. The Bornean orangutan has great intelligence. If Jacobs gets her way, a more secure interface might not be far off. Behind the glass, adorable baby orangutans like two-month-old Tuah lie swaddled in nursery sheets and cling to baby rattles. Check out our 10 most interesting interesting facts about orangutans below: Orangutans are only found in Southeast Asia, more specifically in Borneo and Sumatra! Orangutans show cognitive complexity and flexibility rivaling that of chimps and maintains cultural traditions in the wild. use of tools. The researchers write: "These orangutan and other great ape pantomime cases indicate that pantomime serves multiple purposes and supports important communicative complexities in living great apes. But this intelligence, even in the semi-solitary orangutan, may … Orangutans are among the most intelligent of all primates. Their use of tools even extends beyond foraging and nest building. [Ibid], “Prodded by environmental activists, police have seized hundreds of captive orangutans in recent years and turned them over to rehabilitation centers for release in the wild. A language-trained orangutan was also observed blowing through its thumb and forefinger to express the word "balloon". They were able to identify objects, answer questions and explain what they wanted to eat. Young orangutans are more sought after than adults for pets, selling for up to $25,000 a piece. And in rare instances orangutans will twist leaves into bundles and cradle them like dolls. They were able to identify objects, answer questions and explain what they wanted to eat. Orangutans are the only semi-solitary great ape. "They have the intelligence that they need to communicate, but they don't have the right equipment, because they don't have voice boxes or vocal cords. ; Generally, they prefer the lowland forest areas that are abundant in food, but some have been spotted hanging out in altitudes higher than 1,000 meters above sea level. "It is ridiculous to have orangutans in nappies and hand-raised in a nursery. She's an ingenious animal." In another zone, enclosed with electrified barbed wire, adult orangutans are free to roam and build their nests in the treetops. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. ", Orangutans are extremely intelligent but limited by their physical inability to talk, she said. Measuring intelligence is so complex that it’s impossible to pit one animal’s intelligence against another’s. Orangutans are also kept as pets by rich people. The primates have many sounds that they use to communicate with each other and can also easily blow raspberries. Find out here! Another mixed pancakes with more sugar than most recipes call for. When he collected the packet the next morning, it had been torn open and the contents had disappeared. May 9, 2012]. Just came across this post in 04/14. The apes can also identify body parts, helping the trainers care for them and even give them shots. Orangutans have picked up quite a few habits from their human interlopers. Pongo pygmaeus is known as the Bornean orangutan. I have a question: The orang-utan is often described as one of the most intelligent of the anthropoid apes. Orangutans are the only Asian Great Ape, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. They are highly susceptible to human diseases, such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis, which is one of the main reasons, tourists should resist handling them. In Kalimantan, their adopted parents dress them in human clothes, give them pillows for their beds and encourage them to join the family for meals. Officials at the zoo in the southern city of Adelaide would conduct a "thorough review" of the escape bid and it was likely some vegetation that could be used in a future try for freedom would be removed from Karta's enclosure. Karta came within a few yards (meters) of visitors, who were the first to notice the animal's escape bid. Questions or comments, e-mail ajhays98@yahoo.com, Southern Asian Animals - Monkeys and Orangutans. There are also two species of orangutan. Usually not satisfied with drinking milk they also like to gargle with it and spit it out all over each other. Asia. "Our young ones pick up on it. They waited to publish the results because he thought few people would believe orangutans could do such planning. An immediate threat is a proposed hydroelectric development, which could affect 8% of the orangutan’s habitat. Deforestation is indeed the primary threat to the orangutan, a species of great ape known for its keen intelligence and the fact that it’s the largest animal to live primarily in trees. Orangutan Behavior. Orangutans have been killed for raiding crops. These two ape species have completely different characters - and that is why it is not easy to compare their intelligence. They only worrisome habit of the latter was that she dunked her socks in coffee before she put them on. The physical signs of intelligence include: tool-making and use for problem-solving; insight Almost human in many ways, they suffer greatly at the hands of humans. Scientist and conservationist Birute Mary Galdikas, founder of Orangutan Foundation International, told AP orangutans are among the most intelligent animals. "I think when she actually got out and realised where she was ... she's realised she shouldn't be there so then she's actually hung onto the wall and dropped back into the exhibit," he said. I have a question: The orang-utan is often described as one of the most intelligent of the anthropoid apes. The software was originally designed for humans with autism and the screen displays pictures of various objects. Laura and Zaida’s research will take two more years of sanctuary study. Life Cycle. Kurotori, 55, handed Gypsy another packet and then watched in disbelief as she skillfully ripped it open and tipped the medicine into her mouth. The Sumatran Orangutan, one of two Orangutan subspecies, is now found only in the dense, tropical northern forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. "Previous studies have described a gorilla acting as though it was rolling a ball of clay between her hands, which was interpreted as meaning "clay". But this intelligence, even in the semi-solitary orangutan, may be linked to sociality and differences in that sociality. People say the species is getting endangered but what are they doing? [Ibid], Andrews said: "Great apes' ability to engage in rudimentary narrative communication suggests to us that, like humans, they are able to make sense of their world by telling stories, and to relay their thoughts about the world to others. In the second part of the experiment the learned solution no longer works as now the lid will only open if it is slid to the side (See picture 3 with orangutan “Lanang”). Keepers have long used sign language to communicate with them. The medicine is flavored to suit orangutans’ fondness for sweet foods, but Kurotori is unsure if the orangutan knows the powder is a medicine. The challenge is making the enrichment activities enjoyable. The great intelligence of orangutans is one strong reason (but not the only reason) to respect them as one of our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom and keep them alive as populations in the wild. They will also use branches to measure the depth of water. We are opposed to this theme park resort having wildlife in captivity," said its president Mohamad Idris. Is it possible that these differences in tool-use and behavior between Sumatran and Bornean orangutans arise out of differential sociality? I rlseiaed the other day that I’d somewhat dissociated from the emotion of what we collectively experienced to maintain an even keel in my role on the project. Also, the touchscreen won't register if they try to use their fingernails. Orangutans are native only to Asia, specifically Indonesia and Malaysia. "They're continuously updating their Google Maps so to speak. On how orangutan end up as pets, Richard C. Paddock wrote in the Los Angeles Times: As the forest is cut down, loggers who encounter orangutans commonly shoot the adult females and take their babies to sell as pets. The daily soft release process sees the wild born ex-captive orangutans taken out in the morning from their sleeping enclosures and brought back in the late afternoon. Its critically endangered status is largely due to habitat loss and hunting. Thank you. ", Indra Harsaputra wrote in the Jakarta Post, “Spanish soccer team captain and Barcelona team halfback Carles Puyol is currently campaigning for the rescue of orangutans, whose population is endangered. What he and his orangutan buddies do in the forests of Sumatra tells scientists that advance trip planning and social networking aren't just human traits. Orangutans in the wild, where Galdikas has studied the apes for more than four decades, routinely use tools to scratch themselves, swat insects and create simple shelters. We can not thank you ladies and OFI enough for your efforts! Intelligence in great apes has historically been determined by the extent of tool use shown by wild populations, particularly as tool use and tool manipulation was once thought to be a distinctly human ability. "He is separated from the mother because his hands got entangled in the mother's hair and was unable to breastfeed," says the facility's chief veterinarian D. Sabapathy. If somebody's not feeling well, we know it immediately. But in recent years, the lab and captivity studies have all shown such planning. Social organization, male-male competition, life history, life in the trees, nest building, tool use, culture: Orangutans are a semi-solitary species with very slow life histories. This article mentions that the comparative cognition abilities of the Bornean and Sumatran orang-utans are being studied. Many are abandoned or sent back to Sumatra or Borneo for rehabilitation. Possible differences in Sumatran and Bornean orangutan cognition and sociality may give valuable information on the origin of different types of  intelligence. Bought by wealthy Indonesians as a status symbol, they are adorable as babies but difficult to handle as they grow. "Keeping the orangutans in captivity on an island is not a conservation programme. ability to deceive. Experimental design of the “Box Task”: all lids are flipped open (Solution 1) by orangutan subject who finds reward, one peanut in each box. Very interesting! Orangutans were bought and sold openly until the trade was outlawed in 1989. Lets think from another angles our actions and its consequences. [Source: Ian Sample, The Guardian, August 11, 2010], The study, published in the Biology Letters journal, suggests miming is rare in wild orangutans, but is used when other forms of communication fail. Whitehead said the animal was not aggressive, but the zoo was cleared as a precaution, and veterinarians stood by with tranquilliser guns in case of trouble. They have learned to open locks, row boats and even cook pancakes One particularly well-mannered animal even learned to open packages by making nice neat tears in the corners (most orangutans apes aren't so adept; they open packages by ripping them to shreds). [Source: David Fischer, Associated Press. They understand it. "We can do daily checks. "It would just be such a wonderful bridge to have," Jacobs said. So this gives them a way to let us know what they know, what they are capable of, what they would like to have. 20,000 of them are in the Bornean islands and rest … Orangutans Are Mostly Solitary Animals. Other have their fingers chopped for stealing eggs. Others can come to mate.” ><, Ian Sample wrote in The Guardian, “Orangutans use mime to help make themselves understood, according to video recordings of the apes in the wild. Gypsy also wipes her cage with a cloth, and pours water into a plastic bottle before drinking it. Humans who have been attacked or injured by orangutans usually provoked the animals in some way. "So that other people could really appreciate them. The Sumatran orangutans at the Zoo Atlanta have access to a touch screen where they are able to play games and they do. I hope the results will be shared here as well! "Orangutans are on equal cognitive footing with African apes, or even surpass them on some tasks. Some females may want to stay within earshot in case they are harassed by other males and need protection. "Anything that Jungle Island can do to help their orangutans while away the day is to be commended," Galdikas said. They draw, play games and expand their vocabulary. Learn all about Tropical Rainforests of Indonesian Borneo. ", Apps for Apes and Improving Ipad Screens for Orangutans, In May 2012, David Fischer of Associated Press wrote: “Other zoos and nature parks are doing similar work. Sirimanne, who has worked in zoos in Southeast Asia and the Middle East over the past four decades, said baby orangutans need to be with their mothers to learn survival skills. When it comes to orangutans, the iPad itself has limitations. One ate rice with a fork and spoon, blew out candles, played with kittens and kissed them on the lips. I was enthralled reading this very enlightening article. Once the data have been collected and analysed they will begin the task of writing their PhD theses in the natural sciences. Orangutan guide: species facts, diet and best places to see. Unlike their gorilla cousins in Africa, orangutans don't form … All experiments are conducted without the presence of the researchers but are recorded on two video cameras placed at different angles so that orangutan subjects are not influenced by the presence of humans. one with more opportunities for social learning, might have better cognitive skills. An orangutan “soft release” is taking place. ><, “The apes didn't just call once, but they keep at it, calling more than 1,100 times over the 320 days. At the open-air Jakarta pet market, a dealer named Yommy recently offered to sell a 4-month-old Borneo orangutan for $750. Orangutans are … Galdikas and Brindamour complained that the orangutans that stayed with them ate, drank and ripped open anything the can get their hands on; opened childproof drug containers; and squeezed out all the contents of glue bottles and toothpaste tubes. [Source: David Fischer, Associated Press. ... Orangutans can “talk” about the past. I am happy to be reading of this study, and more researchers being involved with orangutans! Scientists had seen such planning in zoos and controlled experiments, but this study provides solid evidence of travel planning in the wild, said Frans de Waal of Atlanta's Emory University, who was not part of the study. ", It's important to note that training the orangutans isn't done to entertain Jungle Island workers or guests. The researchers closely followed the males as they traveled on 320 days during the 1990s. Other times they become cross-eyed from watching too many soccer games and Indian movies on television. Where the orangutan is one of many being the “ box task. ” this tests flexibility responses free! 'S escape bid tools even extends beyond foraging and nest building packet the next,! Or languages based on the ground ; living primarily in the wild. `` s will... Orangutans also like the hand-held computer tablets, too rest … orangutan and... 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