In a First, Wild Orangutan Uses Herbal Medicine to Successfully Treat His Wound

This story has been going viral for the past few days... and we want to make sure all our friends and supporters see it! We all know how special orangutans are, but the story of Rakus has been spreading beyond the choir, so to speak. We hope that more people will be amazed by Rakus and want to help us protect his cousins in Sumatra and Borneo.

The story can be found all over the web. Here are links to a few reputable websites:
Scientific American

Date Published: May 7, 2024

When a wild orangutan in Indonesia suffered a painful wound to his cheek, he did something that stunned researchers: He chewed plant leaves known to have pain-relieving and healing properties, rubbed the juice on the open wound — and then used the leaves as a poultice to cover his injury.

A fully-flanged adult male Sumatran orangutan cheekpadder named Rakus chewed up yellow root and applied it to an open facial wound, closing the sore within days.

"This case represents the first known case of active wound treatment in a wild animal with a medical plant," biologist Isabelle Laumer, the first author of a paper about the revelation, told NPR.

She says she was "very excited" about the orangutan's seeming innovation, which was documented at the Suaq Balimbing research site in the Gunung Leuser National Park in northwest Sumatra, where some 150 orangutans live in a protected rainforest.

The orangutan is named Rakus. Laumer says he might have picked up the large wound in a fight with a rival male. A few days later, he was seen using a plant to treat his injury. The wound then healed, seemingly without any infection.

Continue reading the article on the NPR website.

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