When it comes to unusual encounters between animals of different species, Mother Nature never cease to amaze. This time a very special friendship between a family of orangutans and some affectionate otters won the internet.
The two families are living in neighbouring enclosures at Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium, but even though, no one would ever imagined that two so different species would interact in such a lovely manner. And the adorable photos the zoo recently shared show this special bond is getting better and better!
However, according to the staff at the zoo, the unlikely relationship between the orangutans and the otters started due to a program meant to keep the animals at the zoo “entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times.” And since otters love to swim and the only river runs through the orangutans’ enclosure, they inevitably met. Yet, no one would have guessed the three orangutans would be so fascinated by their little neighbors.
Now, the 24-year-old father Ujian, 15-year-old mother Sari and their 3-year-old son Berani, can’t wait to spend some time with their best friends. “The otters really enjoy getting out of the water on the orangutan island to go and play with their big, furry friends,” the zoo’s spokesman Mathieu Goedefroy told CNN. “In particular, baby Berani and daddy Ujian have developed a very special bond with their neighbors. It makes life more fun and interesting for both animal species, which makes it a very successful experiment.
Unfortunately, the orangutan population is now on the bring of extinction. Over the last decades, the orangutans lost more than a half of their native habitats in Borneo and Sumatra, and the main reason is logging operations. The Bornean orangutan is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.