Maybe stop seeing me as a Beast…..
A family of orangutans have formed a ‘very special bond’ with the otters who share their enclosure at a Belgian zoo.
The three orangutans, at Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, first encountered the Asian small-clawed otters after staff decided to run their river through the apes’ territory.
Extraordinary photographs show the orangutan family – Ujian, 24, Sari, 15 and their son Bernai, three – greeting their unusual friends as they run around the enclosure.
Another image shows the youngest orangutan, Berani, appearing to play a game of hide and seek with an otter who is resting beneath a wooden platform.
The eldest, however, prefers to grab the attention of the entire crowd and entertain them as a group.
The zoo claims allowing two animal species to live together and interact is ‘enrichment’ for both parties.
Pairi Daiza zoo spokesman Mathieu Goedefroy said: ‘Two factors are very important for the well being of an animal in captivity: the size of his enclosure, but also the quality of his enclosure.
‘This means that an animal – and this is even more the case of orangutans, with whom humans share 97 per cent of their DNA – must be entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times.