Orangutan cleans glass with squeegee to this woman's sheer delight
Orangutans are among the most intelligent of the great apes. They are also one of the most gentle. They are delightful animals that fascinate and delight us to no end. Puppe is a 53 year old Sumatran orangutan with a beautiful personality. Her favourite spot in the large enclosure that she calls home is right if front of the glass where the visitors gather to look at her and take pictures.
Puppe is known to take care of her belongings, according to Ben, one of her caregivers at the zoo. She has been given a soft blanket which she keeps in good condition. She spreads it out on the ground and stretches out right at the window. She has also been given a squeegee which she learned to use by watching the cleaners as they wiped the glass of the enclosure daily.
When Puppe takes a liking to people, she interacts with them in the most adorable way. Here, we see her taking a shine to young lady who has crouched down in front of the glass with a warm smile for Puppe. Puppe wastes no time, moving up close and staring back, watching this woman with interest. The woman pointed to smears on the glass that was between them and she made some effort to wipe it. Puppe reached into her bucket of soapy water and got out her cloth in response. She began wiping the window, as if she might want a better view as well.
When her cloth got tucked under her, this kind woman pointed it out and Puppe eventually looked where she was being shown. She wiped the window thoroughly and then picked up her squeegee, wiping at the water on the glass with surprising precision.
Puppe's visitor was delighted and emotional as this interaction unfolded between them. She pointed to spots that needed attention and Puppe responded with clear understanding. After some effort with the cleaning routine, Puppe wiped her forehead as if she had worked up a sweat. This delighted her friend even more. As we can see in the reflection in the glass, this lady is filled with a mix of laughter and wonder. It even seems that her eyes tear up slightly during the exchange. Puppe has captured her heart, as well as her interest and people stopped to watch both with equal wonder.
As with most of the apes, eye contact follows a complex set of guidelines for Puppe and we see that although she does watch her friend, she avoids prolonged staring right into her eyes. But, all the same, Puppe clearly finds her friend equally fascinating.
Orangutans have become critically endangered. Habitat encroachment by humans, poaching, and destruction of forest for farming has wiped out much of their population. Puppe was an orphan when she came to the Toronto Zoo. Having no option to release her into the wild, she was cared for here and provided a wonderful life. She has lived far longer than orangutans in the wild typically would and she has been given excellent care. Zoos like this one provide opportunities for study, conservation efforts, education, and captive breeding that will ultimately help us in our desire to see these beautiful creatures avoid extinction.
The Toronto Zoo is one of the most highly praised zoos in the world for its efforts to help the animals, and our planet. The staff here is committed to providing their animal family with nothing but the best. Puppe truly has found the right place for a second chance.