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Orangutan From Borneo Photographed Using A Spear Tool To Fish, Imitating Local Fishermen

Photo: GerdSchuster

Environment

Orangutan From Borneo Photographed Using A Spear Tool To Fish, Imitating Local Fishermen

Gerd Schuster, co-author of Thinkers of the Jungle: The Orangutan Report describes the below photo he captured as follow.

“A male orangutan, clinging precariously to overhanging branches, flails the water with a pole, trying desperately to spear a passing fish…

The extraordinary image, a world exclusive, was taken in Borneo on the island of Kaja…

This individual had seen locals fishing with spears on the Gohong River.

Although the method required too much skill for him to master, he was later able to improvise by using the pole to catch fish already trapped in the locals’ fishing lines.”

@GerdSchuster


This is not the first recorded incident of tool-use by Orangutans, or primates in general. The species was first observed using tools in the wild in 1982 – by anthropologist Biruté Galdikas – in wild Bornean orangutans in the Tanjung Puting National Park.

BBC Earth’s Attenborough: Amazing DIY Orangutans also shows an orangutan who has learnt how to wash clothes from observing humans living at the camp.

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