Orangutans Teach Each Other How to Open Food Enrichment

Observation is one of the many ways these great apes learn from each other socially, with proximity to the activity being undertaken within 2 meters and a keen focus on the demonstrator’s actions. Nevertheless, some orangutans try to not rely on watching others, but rather will try to figure things out on their own.

Bumi, pictured here at the back and to the left, has a very determined look on his face. Paulinus (pictured in the middle), one of the smallest orangutans in Forest School Group 3, preferred to use his fingers to dig the yummy frozen pumpkin out of the bamboo shell. Alexandra (on the right), on the other hand, wasn’t quite sure how to proceed in eating the treat, hence she closely watched Paulinus to learn how he would access the tasty treat.

Date Posted: July 11, 2022

Text by: Dr. Nadine Adrianna Sugianto, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, working on the Orangutan Enclosure Design Tool (EDT) Project in collaboration with BOSF - Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan

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