Friday, September 19, 2008

Me and Orangutans - A Long-Term Love Affaire

My love affaire with the 'person (orang) of the forest (hutan)' began when I was living in London. I used to go to the zoo to see 'George' - we seemed to connect at times, our eyes fixing through the bars of his cage. Often for quite long periods. So gentle, calm, sweet, focussed. Hopefully, there's not too much anthropomorphism here!

And the affaire has never diminished. And was given a huge boost last year with an up-close-and-personal episode in Vigan, the Philippines. There was lots of hand holding, general touching, nose stroking, and head patting. Mostly both ways, with much eye-to-eye work! So lucky - usually zoos won't allow you to get so close!

Orangutans are now only found in Borneo and Sumatra - with only 20, 000 left in the wild. So when I saw the clip 'Nyaru Menteng - A Glimmer of Hope' encouraging people to help save these extraordinary creatures (, I couldn't resist a post. These snags from the documentary are followed by the footage itself.

So the babies ...

... and some juveniles ...

.. and all put together:


  1. They are very cute and very smart. Wished I could be that close as you were. Hopefully they will make a come back.

  2. hey ray's cowboy. aren't they! i was so lucky - and lucky to be able to see the chance and grasp it - something i should do in all things in my life. with more awareness, i hope too that they'll come back. be in touch. nick

  3. I've had boyfriends who weren't that cute, smart or loving. God now I'm depressed.

    Alan down in Florida

  4. hey alan. i think we all have! and so many one-nighters are dead ringers - even with less hair ... some kind of compensation seems warranted!

  5. Interesting about the orangutans. They do look all cute and cuddly when they are young, and seem so fun when they get older, but have read stories of orangutans being vicious little beasties, even as far as to kill human babies if they have the chance.

    Supposedly, according to what I've read, gorillas are supposed to be the ones that are more docile. Frankly not sure which is right, but its still a damn shame that both species are going the way of the dodo bird if we don't stop it.

  6. hey greg. i was watching a jane goodall doco on gombi reserve - it was the one where she found (after years of observation) that chimps, as well as being cute sweet and whatever, also killed members of their own species. all is not always as it appears! but reckon i'll still be taking a chance and sidling up to the orang cages that cross my path - perhaps a tad more carefully!