Thursday, August 26, 2010

The look that proves that maternal affection is universal as Orang Utans are reunited with baby

Orangutans have long been seen as very close to humanity in terms of their intelligence. Even their name is derived from the Malay for 'Man Of The Woods'.

Orangs have been observed to use tools and medicinal plants and even have a primitive sort of economy, assigning value to (mainly food) gifts and items shared by other orangs and keeping a running total of the balance owing over time.

But there has rarely been a more explicit reminder of the narrow gap between ourselves and our jungle cousins than this superb and affecting picture of look that a mother gave her child.

Hesty the baby orangutan has just made her public debut at Denver Zoo. She is the first Sumatran Orangutan born at the Colorado zoo in 25 years.

She was born on June 19 but less than two weeks later had to be taken from her mother Nias and put in an incubator because she was dehydrated, weak and unresponsive.

She was bottle fed by animal experts until she was able to feed herself. Now both Nias and Hesty can be seen by visitors to the zoo.

It is estimated that there are only about 6,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. They can only be found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

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