A heartwarming image of animal-friendship has been doing rounds on social media. A family of orangutans have formed a very special bond with the otters who share their enclosure. A zoo in Belgium has shared some amazing photos of this friendship between the orangutans and their otter neighbours.
Pairi Daiza zoo in Domaine du Cambron shared the images of the close relationship between the animals, which shows the two species happily co-existing and interacting with one another. The photographs show the orangutan family - Ujian, Sari and their son Bernai greeting their unusual friends as they run around the enclosure. Another image shows the youngest orangutan, Berani, appearing to play a game of hide and seek with an otter who is resting beneath a wooden platform.
Dear miss Rowling,— Pairi Daiza (@pairidaiza) March 31, 2020
We send you some more pictures of the wonderful friendship between our orangutans and the otters they share their territory with, right here at @pairidaiza, Belgium.
We'd be glad to have you meet up with them as soon as we can reopen our doors! 😉 pic.twitter.com/MqATuaUl4w
The zoo spokesman Mathieu Goedefroy reportedly said that there are two factors that are very important for the well being of an animal in captivity, the size of his enclosure, and the quality of his enclosure. This means that an animal and more in the case of orangutans, with whom humans share 97 per cent of their DNA, must be entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times. He added that for this, they have a very strong "enrichment" program for the orangutans, where the keepers entertain them all day long with mind games, riddles, puzzles, and other stuff to train their intelligence.
One of the "enrichments" is to have different animal species together, so they can interact. That is why they chose to let an otter family live in the river that runs through the orangutan territory. Mr Goedefroy added that the otters really enjoy getting out of the water on the orangutan island to go and play with their big, furry friends.
Mr Goedefroy added that In particular baby Berani and daddy Ujian have developed a very special bond with their neighbours. He added that it makes life more fun and interesting for both animal species, which makes it a very successful experiment. However, the Orangutan populations are threatened by palm oil plantations in their native Borneo and Sumatra. Goedefroy reportedly said that the zoo has raised funds to plant 11,000 trees to restore a forest in Borneo.