This is the touching moment an orangutan offers its outstretched arm to help a guy standing in a river. The great ape, which lives in a Borneo conservation forest, was spotted reaching forward and offering assistance to the guy who had been ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ for snakes in the muddy river. The breathtaking photographs were captured by Indonesian amateur photographer Anil Prabhakar, who was on a safari with his budᴅɪᴇs when he came across the heartwarming sight.
Mr Prabhakar then discovered that the man was employed by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴏʀᴀɴɢᴜᴛᴀɴs in Borneo. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Indonesia that was created in 1991.
The charity, which employs 400 people, is now caring for around 650 ᴏʀᴀɴɢᴜᴛᴀɴs. Prabhakar started associated with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation after learning about the predicament of ᴏʀᴀɴɢᴜᴛᴀɴs owing to ᴅᴇfᴏʀᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. He went to the foundation in 2019 to learn more about their projects, and they offered to show him around their protected territory. Prabhakar witnessed a crew member enter a tiny river while traveling through the bush. When he inquired as to why the guy was approaching the orangutan’s habitat, the guards informed him that a snake had been sighted nearby.
“They have to take care of ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs snakes since they are ᴅᴇᴀᴅly to ᴏʀᴀɴɢᴜᴛᴀɴs,” Prabhakar added. “So, this guy started clearing these bushes all down the river, and it seemed as if he was going at a snail’s pace because his legs were caught in the muck.” Prabhakar observed the guy was having trouble lifting his legs, but he wasn’t the only one who was worried. A nearby female orangutan was also watching the incident unfold. “All of a sudden, this orangutan approᴀᴄʜᴇd the riverbanks, sat down, and observed what this man was doing,” Prabhakar said.
“When he fought to get his legs out, the orangutan placed her left hand on the riverbank and stretched her other hand towards him.” It was a thoughtful gesture.” The orangutan volunteered to assist pull the man out of the muck for three minutes, but the man disregarded the extended hand and walked away. Prabhakar was taken aback. “This was absolutely new to me,” Prabhakar said. “Never in a million years did I expect to witness anything like that.” This orangutan, in my opinion, was attempting to assist him. It’s human nature to go to someone in need and provide a helping hand.”
When the crew member returned to shore, Prabhakar inquired as to why he had refused the orangutan’s offer of assistance. The man said that he was just there as a “ʟɪfᴇɢᴜᴀʀᴅ” and that he was not allowed to interact with the wild animals. He went on to say that ᴏʀᴀɴɢᴜᴛᴀɴs’ hands and arms are so powerful that he might have been ᴡᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ, or worse, the orangutan may have lost her balance and fell into the river. Prabhakar kept the striking photographs he shot that day for a year before sharing them. Prabhakar was greatly moved by the orangutan’s attempt to aid a human, despite the fact that people had ᴅᴇsᴛʀᴏʏᴇᴅ her native environment.
Prabhakar feels there is a valuable lesson to be learned from such an event, and he is pleased he was there to record it and share it with the rest of the world.