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"Mostly we recognize individual orangutans by their face, just as we do humans. Every face is different”. Kaplan, G., Rogers, L.G. (2000), THE ORANGUTANS
Orangutans are able to feel fear, sadness, HAPPINESS [see photos below] and pain same as human beings” - from the Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centre brochure “What Do We Have to Know About Orangutans
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Following my four-day experience with our closest relatives (yes! I’ll try to prove it in my further postings) I can tell you that orangutans (INDEX) demonstrate a very wide emotional spectrum which can be easily seen on their faces.
Is it CONFUSION?
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OFFENCE?
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EXCITEMENT?
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CURIOUSITY?
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PERPLEXITY?
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SATISFACTION?
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STUBBORNESS?
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LAUGHTER?
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PENSIVENESS?
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ANTICIPATION OF A MISCHIEF ?
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ALERT?
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AND ONE MORE TIME:
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SURPRISE?
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AND AGAIN:
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ANGER?
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SATISFACTION?
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PATIENTLY WAITING FOR SOMETHING?
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“We now know that orangutans express a range of strong emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, pleasure, and love and that many of these emotions are displayed as visual signals on the face, in body posture, or in the movement of limbs”. ibid. p. 98.

And now I think you’ll be especially “pleased” reading the following text taken from the book “The Malay Archipelago” which was already quoted here before.…
Malay Archipelago
…by a famous British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace who simultaneously with Darwin (but independently) came up with the theory of evolution by natural selection.
So, in 1855 the famous scientist stayed near the river Simunjon, presently Sarawak province, north from the present Kucing. Here are his words:
“One of my chief objects in coming to stay at Simunjon was to see the orang-utan (or great man-like ape of Borneo) in his native haunts, to study his habits, and obtain good specimens of the different varieties and species of both sexes, and of the adult and young animals. In all of these objects I succeeded beyond my expectations…
[Bang bang, I shot you down…]
- …”Mias” as it is called by the natives… it fell at the first shot, but did not seem much hurt, and immediately climbed up the nearest tree, when I fired, and it again fell, with a broken arm and a wound in the body. The two Dyaks now ran up to it, and each seized hold of a hand… but although one arm was broken, and it was only a half-grown animal, it was too strong for these young savages, drawing them up towards its mouth nothwithstanding all their efforts, so that they were again obliged to leave go, or they would have been seriously bitten. It now began climbing up the tree again, and, to avoid trouble, I shot it through the heart.
[Bang bang, you hit the ground…]
- At the second shot it fell, rolling over, but almost immediately got up again and began to climb. At a third shot it fell dead. This was also a full-grown female, and while preparing to carry it home, we found a young one face downward in the bog… died, after being in my possession nearly three months. I much regretted the loss of my little pet…I preserved its skim and skeleton, and in doing so found that when it fell from the tree it must have broken an arm and a leg...
[Bang bang, that awful sound…]
- I instantly fired, and he made off at once, so I could not then tell whether I had hit him… he turned up again towards the hill, and I got two shots, and following quickly had two more…and we could see one left hanging down useless, having been broken by a ball. He now fixed himself in a fork, where he was hidden by thick foliage, and seemed disinclined to move. I was afraid he would remain and die in this position… I therefore fired again, and then he moved off, and going up the hill was obliged to get on to some lower trees, on the branches of one of which he fixed himself in such a position that he could not fall…. The tree was luckily a small one, so when the axes came we soon had it cut through…down he came with a crash and a thud like the fall of a giant…. His outstretched arms measured three inches [221 cm]… on examination we found he had been dreadfully wounded. Both legs were broken. One hip-joint and the root of the spine completely shattered, and two bullets were found flattened in his neck and jaws! Yet he was still alive when he fell.
[Bang bang, I used to shoot you down…]

Only during his stay in Sarawak for 3,5 months, Wallace saw 29 orangutans - and killed more than half of them. Yeah, I know - it’s all for Science. And whom is this science for? 


Lyrics | Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) lyrics


Translated by Maria Myutel

To be continued