The “man of the forest”, or the Asian genus mighty Orangutan is one to fancy an orange, potato, and of course – banana! The strong hands of this majestic and diverse animal comes to us today by way of needing our helping hand. For many years now the Orangutan species has been under constant attack due to logging and deforestation to their natural habitat. This very destruction comes by way of companies that wish to capitalize on the land and resources provided in the Orangutan’s natural environment.
Recently I had the chance to visit with this wonderfully intelligent animal, first hand at the Cameron Park Zoon in Waco, Texas. This is where they house three full-grown Orangutans in text-book sized habitats. I was astounded by how these animals truly are effected by their surroundings. Just like humans, they react to a vast amount of stimulations ranging from Television to human interplay. “These are not just wild animals!” I thought to myself staring into the eyes of these spirited giants.
With a more honest approach in the learning of these animals, we find that they are more like us than we may first assume. For the average Orangutan, fruit makes up 65%-90% of their diet. Furthermore, their diet can change on a day-to-day status giving on what they can find or what is available to them. Let’s take a step back, and step off of our human pedestal for just a moment. We also eat fruit, or at least we should. Our diets here in North America a more scattered then we probably realize, consisting of what we “like” at the moment and not of what we can “find at the moment”. This is very important to note, for we seem to find every possible avenue to make distinctions between ourselves and animals that live in the wild. For it is safe to say that even though these are wild animals, does this mean that they are any less entitle to a healthy and prosperous life? I believe that we all need to find that answer within ourselves. For acting upon our awareness of the Orangutan conversational effort we find that its possible that we might find moral satisfaction in applying what we’ve learned with the Orangutan to other animals of misfortune. This takes a leap for us, for we must bring ourselves to their level. Or, maybe more honestly, bring the animal to our level. For you can see the eyes light up in a dogs eyes when you return home. You can see the delight in birds eye when you put out fresh seed for them to eat. These subtle, yet important communications should not be left for the conversationalist or researching scientist. We are all a part of this Universe, and what part we play contributes to the holistic overview of the health and wealth of all living things – void of monetary value. Through this, the Orangutan can be the great educator, and teach us to love and take care of the Uni-Nature in that we are a part. A wise man once said, “For when you think about yourself, you neglect yourself. But when you consider others as yourself, you are acting on behalf of the Universe.” .
BY: THOMAS MCGREGOR, Interconnect-Interactive, 2011