Anil Prabhakar, an amateur photographer, captured a unique and touching moment with his camera recently. A warden with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation was clearing snakes from a stream to help protect the local Orangutan population. And that's when a wild Orangutan noticed him and fearing for his safety, offered a helping hand.
Most of the snakes in Borneo are harmless, but there are a few exceptions. There are highly venomous snakes like Kraits and King Cobras, as well as mildly venomous snakes such as Mangrove Snakes and the Wagler's Viper. There is also a giant species of python, called the Reticulated Python, that is the longest species of snake in the world with a maximum length of over 30 feet! It's these snakes that the warden sought to remove when he came across the orangutan in the photos.
"There was a report of snakes in that area, so the warden came over and he's clearing snakes. I saw an orangutan come very close to him and just offer him his hand." - Prabhakar said
Prabhakar also said the warden found it difficult to move in the fast-flowing water. And that it seemed as if the orangutan was saying "May I help you"? to the man.
"I really wasn't able to click," he said. "I never expected something like that. I just grabbed that moment. It was really emotional."
The guard never took the orangutan's hand. He moved away and climbed out of the water on his own. Prabhakar asked the warden why he moved away, and the warden replied, "They're completely wild, we don't know how they'll react." Orangutans are gentle giants. By far the least aggressive of the Great Apes. But they are wild animals and they are immensely powerful creatures. The warden had to remind Prabhakar that great care and caution must be used when working around such animals.
Even though it's unlikely that the warden would've been harmed if he had accepted the help, to be responsible, he did what he should've done by walking away. Even still, the gesture of the orangutan is very touching. If you liked this story, please leave a like and share!