Apes are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, so it’s no surprise that they can display some very human qualities. From chimps watching movies together to gorillas communicating through sign language, apes aren’t all too different from you and me.
And in one hilarious video, one orangutan showed a surprising understanding of human fashion, trying on a tourist’s sunglasses that had fallen into her enclosure.
In March, a woman named Lolita Testu visited the Taman Safari Cisaura, a zoo and conservation center in West Java, Indonesia. While observing the orangutans, she accidentally dropped her sunglasses into the enclosure.
While losing a pair of glasses like that is inconvenient, it soon lead to one priceless moment.
Soon after falling in, Testu’s sunglasses were picked up by a curious orangutan:
And soon, to everyone’s amazement, the orangutan actually put on the sunglasses!
Maybe she had seen humans wearing glasses before, or maybe she just instinctively understood what they were for, but soon the great ape had the sunglasses right on her face, as if trying them on in the store.
“This is fantastic stuff,” Testu is heard saying.
The mother orangutan checks out the glasses while still keeping close to her child, who looks just as curious about the new item.
Testu told Storyful that the orangutan had her sunglasses on for 15 minutes, until zookeepers prompted the ape to give them back. She then tosses them out of the enclosure (unfortunately the glasses were broken — apes don’t know to be gentle with these kinds of things — but its still nice she agreed to give them back.)
Testu shared a video of the hilarious moment on TikTok, where it has gone viral with over 42 million views.
Watch the video below:
So I’m down a pair of sunglasses but up a very good story ##monke♬ original sound – Lola Testu
Orangutans are considered among the smartest species of apes and are known to be capable of using tools for a variety of purposes, so it’s not too unbelievable that they’d get the grasp of sunglasses.
Sadly, this beautiful ape species is also critically endangered. Their natural habitats, the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, have long been threatened by destruction and deforestation due to the palm oil industry. Zoos like the Taman Safari host orangutan enclosures as part of an effort to protect the species.
Hopefully funny videos like this one, which show how smart this species is, inspires more people to get involved with the conservation of orangutans.
What a funny video, and what a clever orangutan! Share this amazing video with your friends!