Give us a hug: Intimate portraits of mother and baby orangutans as they behave just like HUMANS

By Nadia Gilani

Gripping: The mother supports baby Siswi's head as the youngster appears to be absorbed looking at something in the distance

A pair of British photographers spent weeks following orangutans observing similarities between the behaviours of the primates and humans.

The incredible collection gives an intimate and heartwarming insight into how human-like the apes' behave is as they go about their daily business.

Some of the images capture the tender relationship between a mother and her newborn baby called Siswi.

Giving a lick: Siswi plays with a leaf by putting it straight into her mouth much like children do when exploring new objects

Fiona Rogers and Anup Shah from Watford, Hertfordshire, captured these fascinating scenes in Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, Indonesia.

In one, the doting female appears to smile as she gently cradles a dozing Siswi in her arms, while another shows her protectively looking on as the youngster plays with a leaf.

The series of photographs also show another male orangutan gingerly wading through a pool just like a human might holding its arms in the air as he navigates the deep water.

Ms Rogers said: 'We felt that orangutans are very human-like in their gestures, glances, and general behavior.

'They can work you out - they study you and try to figure out who you are and what you are thinking.

'It felt quite eerie to be with an ape that was very intelligent and deliberate in its thinking.

'Many people comment on how human-like they look when they see the pictures.

'Among the great apes, orangutans are the most upright in their walking.

'In intelligence, tests indicate that orangutans reach the same level of human children about three and a half years old but not beyond.

Comforting: Siswi falls into a deep sleep close to her mothers chest and cradled in her arms

'All great apes share this ceiling but recent studies show that orangutans may have an edge over other apes'.

The photographers spent three weeks in the national park getting very close to the animals in order to capture the intimate shots.

Ms Rogers said: 'We were able to get close because the orangutans are rehabilitated.

'Some were once captive but have been released in the wild where they now live, some are wild but have lost their fear of humans.

'Others have been rescued from disasters like forest fires and immediately released.

'They are free to come and go, and a few of them may come to a camp where there are people.

'This is so distinctive about some orangutans, they have a curiosity about humans that they cannot let go of'.

Having a stretch: Another orangutan in the park wades through a pool to cool off with its arms in the air



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