A sight to behold! Those are the perfect words to describe an incredible moment captured between an orangutan and a volunteer agent.
The man works for Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), an organization that advocates the conservation of orangutans and their habitats in Borneo, Indonesia. He was in charge of a safari run in one of the protected forest and at the very moment of the event, he was clearing up snakes off a river, which were increasingly present on the primate territory, posing a danger to them.
That was when an orangutan approached him and extended its hand in a gesture to help him. The volunteer agent was partially submerged into the water, which probably gave an impression to the orangutan that the man might have fallen into the river and was having trouble coming out.
A geologist and amateur photographer, Anil Prabhakar, who was witnessing the unexpected moment quickly whipped out his camera and captured the scene, which would later become a worldwide sensation.
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The photograph shows the majestic animal leaning on the banks of the river, left hand secured on the ground while its right hand reaching out to the man in the middle of a puddle. The orangutan had its gazed fixed on the him, as if assuring him that he’s there to get him out.
If you’re wondering what happened next, the man did not actually accept the orangutan’s offer.
Un orang-outan a secouru un homme dans une rivière https://t.co/lWWBfDjojA
— 20 minutes (@20minutesOnline) February 8, 2020
“It is a wild animal, not an animal that we know,” he told Huffington Post.
Having worked with a foundation that focuses on the animal, the man realized that eventually it’s an animal that lives in the wild hence its actions cannot be predicted. As touching as the gesture was, he would rather remain safe in the waters than to go on the land and risk his life in the hands of an animal that easily weighs twice his size.
Orangutans are one of the most endangered animals in the world, according to World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). Though conservation activities are progressively conducted, they are likely to be extinct in the future due to natural disasters and habitat loss.