Did you know that Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling animals on earth? Despite their great size, an adult Orangutan still climbs up trees to eat. Did you know that Orangutans are the only great ape that survived in Asia? Unlike Gorilla’s and Chimpanzees, only the Orangutans survived in the most populous continent in the world.
This factual information can often be seen posted on zoo exhibits, However, there are greater things that the animals contained in zoos could teach us. Darci’s
And did you know that Orangutans are very intelligent creatures as well? Darci Miller’s unforgettable encounter with a smart and curious Orangutan will change your view of them!
When Darci Miller, an Indiana woman, was tending her yard, she was involved in an unfortunate accident. In the process of burning her collected trash, she was consumed by the gas fumes. Suffering from burns, Darci was rushed to the hospital to be treated. There, Darci’s arms and chest had to be covered in bandages.
Days after the unfortunate accident, Darci, along with her dearest fiance, Jason Costello, headed to the Indianapolis Zoo to entertain themselves. Not knowing that they would be more than entertained by their one-of-a-kind zoo experience.
While Darci and her fiance, Jason were looking at the Orangutan exhibit, they met an Orangutan they will never forget. A 12-year-old Orangutan named Rocky separated himself from his group and took particular interest in Darci because of the bandages she was wearing.
“He left the group he was with interacting with and came over to a secluded window,” Darci shared with CBS News. “We went over to that window and he immediately wanted to see everything I had going on.”
Through body language, Darci and Rocky were able to effectively communicate with each other. The curious great would lean towards the glass to examine and have a better look of Miller’s bandages. The curious Rocky would even point out to the bandages, expressing his interest in it.
“He wants you to show him… That’s crazy. He wants to see it.” Jason said as he immortalized the unique interaction Darci and Rocky were having in a video.
Surprised by the Orangutan’s curiosity and communication skills, Darcy couldn’t help but wonder if it is normal for Orangutans to behave that way. One of the zookeepers said that for Rocky, the behavior he showed was indeed normal.
Darci and Rocky’s interaction with one another lasted for more than 20 minutes. Witnessing their special connection, people flocked behind Darcy, intrigued by what they have seen. Evident in the video, the crowd would gasp as they watched Rocky react with Darcy’s gestures.
“He was pointing at everything,” Darci explained, finding it hard to believe that Rocky was not trained with sign language. “I was told he doesn’t know sign language, but in my opinion, it was clear he knew something. He was engulfed in everything I had going on.”
Thinking that there was nothing special about Rocky’s ability to express fascination over her and her injuries, Darcy did not think too much of it. However, just before she left the exhibit, she promised herself that she would return to the zoo to check if Rocky will recognize her.
Soon, she and Jason returned to the Orangutan exhibit. To her surprise, Rocky quickly approached her at the transparent window, showing that indeed, he can remember and recognize Darcy!
“I’ve always seen videos of it happening and it’s never happened to me,” Darcy said, finding what transpired as surreal. “I’d always say, ‘This isn’t true. This isn’t real.’ That’s why I said I wanted to go back to see if he’d remember me, and he did. It was pretty amazing.”
If Darci was surprised by the intelligence and skills Rocky has shown her, the zookeepers were not shaken at all. For them, there was nothing extraordinary about what happened.
“Our orangutans eagerly interact and communicate with people they know well, such as their caregivers,” A spokesperson of the zoo cleared in an interview.”Rocky is a bit different. He regularly interacts with people he may not know. The exchange in the video is a great example of this.”
The 2.5 million people who have witnessed the video taken by Jason, were also left in awe. Thanks to Darci and Rocky’s special interaction with one another, people across continents are realizing that indeed, animals are capable of thoughts and feelings!
“His behavior demonstrates strong interest and concern,” The zookeeper explained further. “There is no doubt that this was an important interaction for him, and his gestures to the woman clearly communicate that.”
Just like humans, Orangutans and other animals are capable of expressing their feelings. They can think, they can feel, and they can express themselves. Although no words were exchanged, the 12-year-old Orangutan, was able to engage in a conversation with a human being. With the help of sign and body language and an open heart, even the barriers set by our differences can be overcome!
Watch the touching and heartwarming interaction between Darcy and Rocky below, showing that animals have minds to think, and hearts to feel as well just like humans!
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