Wild Orangutan Offers Hand to Man in Snake-Infested Waters

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Photographer Captures Incredible Moment
Wild Orangutan Offers Hand to Man in Snake-Infested Waters


This is the awe-inspiring moment that a wild orangutan offered its hand to a man wading through snake-infested waters.

The brief interaction was captured by amateur photographer Anil Prabhakar as he was on a safari with his friends through a conservational forest on the Indonesian island of Borneo last month.

The forest, which is maintained by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), is a sanctuary for the critically endangered apes who may need refuge in the face of injuries, poaching threats, or habitat loss.

Since venomous snakes are the orangutan’s only real predator in the forest, it is quite likely that this particular ape knew the consequences of approaching the muddy waters.

The man in the photo was a conservancy guard who was busy clearing off the snakes for Prabhakar and his friends when the orangutan offered its hand. Prabhakar later told CNN it was as if the orangutan was saying “May I help you?”

Due to the unpredictability of wild orangutans, the warden ended up circling around to a different point in the bank and climbing out of the water on his own—but not before Prabhakar snapped a photo of the breathtaking interaction.

“I just grabbed that moment,” he said. “It was really emotional.”