Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Orang-utans 'Discover' Spear Fishing

Saying that orang-utans in Borneo are now learning to spear fish is probably not accurate. More accurate would be to state that this is the first time observers keeping records have seen orang-utans making use of sticks to catch fish :
Orang-utans have confounded naturalists by learning to swim across rivers and to fish with sticks.
Naturalists were shocked to see the apes swim across a river to gain access to some of their favourite fruits at a conservation refuge on Kaja island in Borneo. Orang-utans were previously thought to be non-swimmers. The wildlife experts were equally surprised to see an orang-utan pick up a tree branch and stun a fish before eating it. Other apes introduced to the island were seen trying to spear fish with sticks after watching fishermen using rods.
But the orang-utans then found a much easier way to get their fish :
The naturalists also noted that the apes quickly worked out that it was even easier to steal fish from unattended lines used by the humans on the island.
Smart, and resourceful.

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