NEWS AND COMMENT-INDONESIA: The video has gone viral as you might expect. In an attempt to make an interesting video for his social media account, Hasanal Arifin, decided to jump over the outer barrier around a cage containing an orangutan. He wanted to get close and, in an effort to create a reaction, he allegedly taunted the resident orangutan who retaliated. The orangutan grabbed his shirt as you can see in the video and pulled the man towards his cage. This caused great alarm. The event took place at the Kasang Kulim Zoo in the Riau province of Indonesia, Newsflare reported.
A zookeeper said:
“The visitor wanted to make a video and create content without permission. He crossed the safety distance barrier. This is very dangerous and violates the rules. We have already reprimanded the man. Please take the rules seriously.”
It is remarkable the extent to which people who want success on social media will go. They really push the boundaries of common sense and in this instance did something very stupid indeed. When you watch the video, you are waiting for the moment when the orangutan tears off an arm or a leg because they’re enormously strong. This is where the danger comes from; the brute strength of the orangutan. Quick research tells me that the arm span of an orangutan is 7-8 feet. The average weight is between 73-180 pounds and they stand up to about 5 feet in height.
Their grip strength is around four times more powerful than that of a man and one website tells me that they are a stronger 7 people combined. However, they are mild-mannered primates. They hardly ever get into a fight with other animals and they are solitary.
The orangutan’s grip strength is about 600 pounds which does not surprise me because they swing from trees and carry their entire body weight. By contrast, the average healthy grip strength for men apparently is about 73 pounds and for women it is around 44 pounds.
The man was unharmed as it happens. It seems that another visitor tried to help but could not. My immediate thought was that he could have allowed the orangutan to take his T-shirt which would have released himself from its grip. It was when the orangutan grabbed his leg that things got ugly. However, it appears that the mild natured character of this primate saved the man from any harm. The ape was just interested in interacting to alleviate boredom it seems to me. The primate simply wanted have a bit of fun and interact with somebody, anything, because his life is very dull stuck in a cage. Another reason why I hate zoos and find them very cruel.
The internet reports that orangutans do not attack humans. All the information that I have read on the Internet tells me that they are mild and friendly creatures. It would seem, though, that harm could have been done inadvertently because of the brute strength of the primate.
Below are some more pages on primates.