Saturday, June 6, 2009

Orangutan Displays Advanced Tool Usage

Yet another huge blow to the notion that human beings are the only tool users, an orangutan built a ladder used in an attempted escape:

AN “ingenious” 62 kilogram orangutan short circuited electrical wires and climbed a fence using a makeshift ladder in an aborted escape attempt from Adelaide Zoo today.

The elaborate plot by 27-year-old Karta got her to within metres of the public, and resulted in the closure of the zoo on one of its busiest days of the year.

Zoo curator Peter Whitehead said Karta had twisted a stick into hot wires that encircled her enclosure, short circuiting the wires and allowing her to enter a vegetated area near the concrete and glass fence that separated her from the public.

She then piled up sticks, grass and plant roots and used them to climb onto the fence.

”You're talking about an animal that's highly intelligent, Mr Whitehead said.

”We've had issues with her before in normal day to day operations where she tries to outsmart the keepers. So in this case she's decided to make a ladder and try to get out of her exhibit.”

99% of us is still pretty smart.


redapes said...

Orangutans are critically endangered in the wild because of rapid deforestation and the expansion of palm oil plantations.

If nothing is done to protect orangutans, they could be extinct in just a few years!

I'd like to invite you and your readers to visit the Orangutan Outreach website to learn how YOU can make a difference!

Richard Zimmerman
Director, Orangutan Outreach
Reach out and save the orangutans!
Facebook Cause:

parakeet said...

"Yet another huge blow to the notion that human beings are the only tool users,"

Did someone have that notion?

ScienceAvenger said...

Oh yeah, some of the hardcore Christian groups still try to claim human beings have unique toolmaking abilities. They aren't big on giving up their flawed notions of nature in the face of contrary evidence.

parakeet said...

I've never heard of such a group. I know of a hardcore YEC who proudly writes about the brilliance of some tool-making crows.