20. A Connection Bigger Than Us
When visiting the Indianapolis Zoo with her husband, Darci Miller never expected to experience the deep connection she shared with one of the resident orangutans. She certainly did not think that Rocky, the orangutan, would understand what she had underneath her bandage. What happened truly left everyone speechless.
19. Origins of The Orangutan
While many believe that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, a study back in 2009 proposed that orangutans, in fact, are our closest relatives.
That seems hard to believe due to their appearance, but it’s true, and you’ll soon see why.
18. Meet Rocky
Rocky earned worldwide attention a few years back even before the viral video with Darci happened when he showed researchers his special skill. He showed the visiting scientists at the Indianapolis Zoo that he could communicate just like a human.
17. Orangutan’s in The Wild
These creatures are rainforest dwellers so they are most commonly found in the rainforest regions of Sumatra and Borneo. Their habitats grow smaller every year, making their lives continuously harder.
16. Orangutan Life
According to National Geographic, “The Malay word orangutan means “person of the forest.” These long-haired, orangish primates, found only in Sumatra and Borneo, are highly intelligent and are close relatives of humans.”
When observed interacting with humans, orangutans show interesting abilities.
15. Orangutans and Humans
Also, according to National Geographic, “Orangutans are more solitary than other apes. Males are loners. As they move through the forest they make plenty of rumbling, howling calls to ensure that they stay out of each other’s way. The ‘long call’ can be heard 1.2 miles away.”
14. Natural Habitats
According to National Geographic: “Orangutans’ arms are well suited to their lifestyle because they spend much of their time (some 90 percent) in the trees of their tropical rainforest home. They even sleep aloft in nests of leafy branches. They use large leaves as umbrellas and shelters to protect themselves from the common rains.”
It was Rocky that would help explain the mystery of how humans developed their vocal abilities.
13. The Mystery of The Orangutan
Throughout the study conducted on Rocky by these researchers, they determined that Rocky would be the key to understanding how human speech came to be as we know it. The Mirror Online told how they came to this conclusion by: “Comparing Rocky’s emissions against a large database of recordings of wild and captive orangutans showed they were markedly different. Rocky was able to learn new sounds and control the action of his voice in the way humans do when they conduct a conversation, the scientists concluded.”
There are still some differences, however.
12. Differences and Similarities
Although we may like to think as humans we are different from apes like orangutans, the more and more researchers look into the mysterious creatures and their human-like mannerisms, the more similarities they find.
Although they may look extremely different than us, they are so similar, that many believe it’s cruel to keep them in zoos, suggesting they should be in sanctuaries.
11. Orangutans in Captivity
Because these creatures are some of the rarest and endangered in the world, most of the orangutan today live within ape sanctuaries or zoos. Living in captivity has also given researchers the ability to study and learn so much about this species up close.
Although they are closely studied, interactions such as the one filmed between Darci and Rocky show us just how special these animals are.
10. Meeting Darci
When Rocky the Orangutan first met Darci he was immediately fascinated by her and rushed up to the glass to greet her. Once Rocky got her attention he pressed his face to the glass and smiled at Darci and the two started engaging with one another. Rocky pointed to Darci’s arm with his humanlike hand and this is when Darci started laughing at Rocky’s human-like mannerisms. He started examining her arm and Darci assumed he was interested in the tattoos on her arm but then what he did next made Darci realize there was something much deeper that Rocky was trying to communicate with her about.
9. Something Deeper
The amazing thing was that Rocky being the intelligent being that he is could tell something had happened to darci. He was not only interested in her tattoos on her arm, but he was really pointing at her bandage that was covering her injury. He knew that something had hurt Darci and he wanted to show his love and care for her.
After watching Rocky’s many gestures toward the bandage at her arm and seeing the empathy in his eyes Darci realized that Rocky knew she was injured. He was looking at her in a human-like caring manner and she could see the concern in his eyes.
7. Darci, a Burn Survivor in Recovery
Darci’s bandage was covering the injuries she sustained from a serious burn accident back in 2015, where she had suffered severe burns on her neck and arm. the road to recovery for Darci hadn’t been easy and she and her husband were actually visiting the zoo that day to get her mind off of it. She would have never guessed that her visit would turn out like this.
6. Rocky and Darci
Once Darci realized what Rocky was trying to communicate with her she was deeply touched and everyone around them soon caught on by what Rocky had been trying to communicate to Darci as well. It was a beautiful and emotional moment for everyone involved and they were all stunned that an animal like Rocky could create such a connection with someone like Darci on the other side of the glass.
5. An Unbreakable Bond
The way Darci and Rocky connected was out of this world and in another sense Rocky was actually very familiar with burn injuries not of his own but because it is something the orangutan community globally is under threat by.
4. Orangutan’s in Danger
Being one of the world’s most endangered species the orangutan of today is hardly ever seen in the wild. The natural habitat of the orangutan has been subject to deforestation by burning and clearing miles of forest for decades now. The orangutans are forced to stay and perish in these large fires or they escape and are eventually trapped by illegal poachers for their fur.
3. Orangutan’s Today
According to National Geographic: “Because orangutans live in only a few places, and because they are so dependent upon trees, they are particularly susceptible to logging in these areas. Unfortunately, deforestation and other human activities, such as hunting, have placed the orangutan in danger of extinction.”
2. The Future for Orangutans
The future for orangutans in the wild has become increasingly grim over the years. Much of the hope in conserving these beautiful creatures depends on raising them within captivity in a zoo or ape sanctuary. It is in these places that will protect these creatures from outside threats such as deforestation and illegal hunters.
1.The Bigger Picture
These being some of the most intelligent and empathetic creatures on earth, orangutans need to be protected. Not just to preserve what we know about this very mysterious creature but to preserve and better understand what we know about ourselves.