- Sumatran Orangutan Society
Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty apes. - Charleston Heston, The Planet of the Apes, 1968
The Planet of the Ape movie series has given us mixed messages about Orangutans. They, in fact, share about 97 percent of the same genetic material as humans.
They're smart - they use tools, apply insect repellant and use soap. They have feelings like love, empathy and a sense of humor. They also lie. (Just like us.)
And they are in danger of going extinct.
With all that in mind I read the most tender obituary in the paper the other day. It was written just like a human obituary but it was for Bonnie, a 31 year old orangutan, who died in surgery when the folks at the Miami Zoo were trying to save her and her unborn baby. The sweetest and most humanizing line in the obit was the last one which read:
She is survived by her mate, Mango.