Unexpected friendships are the best, aren’t they? Well, this is about an orangutan family making friends with the otter family at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette. And this is not the first time animals are making headlines for being friends with others in the animal kingdom. Although animals are not as evolved as humans, they never fail to make us awe-struck with the love and kindness they show towards other species. Isn’t it interesting that animals have thought processes, emotions, and social connections that are as important to them as they are to us?
Here is a heart-warming picture of the new friends at the Belgium zoo.
The orangutan family consists of 3 members, the father (Ujian, 24), the mother(sari, 15) and their son(Berani, 4). The staff at Pairi Daiza zoo told the media that the new friends enjoy playing chase games and hide-and-seek.
“The otters hide under large tree trunks or wooden constructions, then Berani, the baby orangutan, comes in search of them. Once in a, while they pop out to tease him. It’s really amazing to see.”.
According to the staff, the zoo invests a lot in enriching animal enclosures. “This means that not only size but also the quality of life is very important. One of the ways to do that (besides hiding food, making puzzles, organizing mind games, putting some swings or new logs in there) is by placing animal species that can interact with each other in the same enclosure, or make them see each other.”
“Our gorillas live together with colobus monkeys, our penguins live with the seals, our kangaroos share an enclosure with pelicans, we have squirrels living with bats, pygmy hippos with pelicans, giraffes with ostriches, Asian elephants with Asian gazelles, zebras with buffalos… and so on,” he said.
“Belgium is currently locked down due to the recent pandemic outbreak. This does not stop us from giving our animals the very best care each day.”
“Two factors are very important for the well being of an animal in captivity: the size of his enclosure, but also the quality of his enclosure,” he told Caters News. “This means that an animal—and this is, even more, the case of orangutans, with whom humans share 97 percent of their DNA—must be entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times.”
A staff also mentioned that the otters loved the company of the orangutans since they were transferred to the Pairi Daiza zoon from Germany.
In particular, baby Berani and daddy Ujian have developed a very special bond with their neighbors,” Mathieu said. “It makes life more fun and interesting for both animal species, which makes it a very successful experiment.”
Everyone loves this interaction at the zoo and it’s an adorable sight for all workers and they believe that it helps to provide a better environment in a captive zoo.
Image credits: Caters News