The orangutan is one of the most incredible animal species on earth. They are one of the closest relatives to humans, and it shows in their remarkable intelligence and human-like qualities.
It turns out, they’re also a very compassionate species, and know how to help a human in danger. That’s what one great ape proved after lending a stranger a “helping hand.”
Anil Prabhakar is a nature photographer from Indonesia. In 2019, he was moved after learning about the struggles of orangutans, who are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.
According to The Dodo, he received a tour from an organization called the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. He hoped to learn more about the species, and hopefully capture some photographs as well.
Another danger to orangutans is venomous snakes, and while on the safari Prabhakar watched as a warden stepped up to clear the area of snakes to protect the apes.
But while doing so, the man got stuck in the mud — and that’s when Prabhakar witnessed a truly incredible sight: an orangutan reached out a hand to help the man get free.
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Prabhakar made sure to get a photo of the inspiring sight. “I saw an orangutan come very close to him and just offer him his hand,” he told CNN. “I never expected something like that… I just grabbed that moment. It was really emotional.”
“I’m so happy that moment happened to me,” he added.
Despite the sweet gesture, the man stuck in the mud did not accept the orangutan’s help. According to The Dodo, it was his duty to be a “lifeguard” to the animals and not interfere with them, plus the orangutan’s strong grip might’ve done more harm than good.
“The warden just moved away. I asked him why later and he said: ‘It’s a wild animal, not one we are familiar with,’” Prabhakar told Bored Panda.
Still, it was an inspiring sight, and just the kind of moment Prabhakar hoped to capture in his expedition: a photo that moves people to help this endangered species.
“My way of thinking is that every photo can speak for itself,” he told The Dodo. “I’m more into trying to portray an emotion I can connect to.”
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The photo has gone viral, with many people agreeing that it shows how orangutans are just as kind and compassionate as people are — perhaps even more so.
“Once humanity dies in mankind, sometimes animals are guiding us back to our basics,” the photographer captioned his photo on Instagram.
“We’re very happy to see the positive responses people give to this picture,” Jamartin Sihite, the chief executive officer of the BOSF, told The Jakarta Post. “Looking at this picture, we cannot help but wonder that wild animals could be kinder to human beings than us to them.”
What a photo! It’s an inspiring reminder of how incredible and compassionate orangutans are — we need to do everything we can to help this endangered species before it’s too late.
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