Orang-utan rescues chick at Dublin Zoo


Video of an orang-utan at Dublin Zoo apparently rescuing a drowning duck has become an internet sensation.

The Youtube clip shows a male Bornean orang-utan, named Jorong, careening over rocks at the edge of his enclosure where an injured moorhen chick flaps about in a pond.

The ape spends a number of minutes patiently coaxing the bird ashore with a leaf before gently lifting it onto grass behind the rocks.

The four-minute long clip then shows the ape carefully examining the bird much to the amazement of onlookers.

The video, which has already been viewed by hundreds of thousands of online users, was only uploaded to Youtube last week even though it was shot some time in 2008.

Authorities at Dublin Zoo confirmed today they had received a number of inquiries about the video over the weekend.

Having reviewed the clip, the animal care team at the Phoenix Park venue confirmed the orang-utan was Jorong who lived in Dublin Zoo for 12 years until he moved to Dudley Zoo in 2008 as part of an international breeding programme.

The ape was born in 1995 in Chester Zoo and came to Dublin Zoo in 1996.

“He had a lovely nature, was always a little inquisitive and very gentle which you can tell from the clip,” a spokeswoman for the zoo said. “During his time in Dublin he fathered a female orang-utan named Mujur, who still lives in Dublin Zoo with the zoo’s group of Bornean orang-utans.”

Last year, the orang-utans were at the centre of controversy when the zoo authorities offered free entry to all red-haired children to highlight the endangered status of the apes in the wild.