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Amazing DIY orang-utans

Orang-utans use sticks to catch insects, but do you think they would use human tools? Watch this video and find out!

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercise. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


Presenter (David Attenborough): You might think that this orang-utan is washing socks as some kind of circus trick for which she has been specially trained, but not so. She is doing this entirely on her own initiative. She has seen others doing it and she's copying. And that ability to imitate as well as to use tools is something which started among monkeys but has been brought to a much greater level among the apes. And those two talents were ultimately to lead to the transformation of the world.  

Camp Leakey in Borneo is home to a special group of orangs who have been rescued from captivity and returned to the wild. Because they've lived partly in our world as well as theirs they can give us an insight into what we have in common. This old lady loves DIY. So does her son, who was born in the wild. Even her infant is interested. It's very striking when you sit as close to an orang-utan as this, to see how similar they are to human beings. We are both, of course, great apes. But look how human her hand is, the skill with which she picks things up, the way that she can grasp a tool like that. The way she uses her brain to imitate what she's seen others doing. But the most important thing we share is our big brain. It's that that has produced so many of the talents and abilities that we have in common.





Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


These orang-utans are very clever animals. This video proves that orang-utans are similiar to human beings. I have never seen one in the ZOO or wild. I like watching programmes about animals. Ones are amazing.

These Orang-utans are very smart. I have never seen one, just in TV and this last answers the last question: I like watching tv programs abput animals, specially the ones in Nat Geo.

Hmm it's a very good video about orang utan. Borneo jungle is preservation for wild animals especially orang-utan. I have been seen orang-utan in Bandung Zoo - West Java - Indonesia. Orang utan is smartest apes in the level, because the way of thought similar with human. For example, how the lady used the soap n bathe or how her talented to use a saw in the wood or how she use a boat to travel make me amaze. It's seem sad whenever I read news about orang utan, their habits is in a dangerous, Indonesian people killed them by fire when they extend land for farming for example in Kalimantan for Palm oil, some of them killed too only for eating. They said that the baby is very good taste, ect . Well I am appreciate for the video because I am from Indonesia the information is very useful to me.

I think that these orang-utans are very similar with us. I´ve never seen one of them, just in filmes. I like watching programmes about any tipe of animals.

I really love animals.... they're the creation of jehova god.. although they dont have our knowdledge or the ability to think... their capacity to imitate our being is special is something great...

Yes, I have seen the orang-utans but never seen the things like this they are doing it in this video.It looks amazing the way they are trying to imitate the humans.
Watching animal channels are great fun becoz the way the animal do n think is really different which we humans can't even imagine.

Documentals like this one are very important to make people realise that we are more close to animals than we think and we should be against any way of hurting and capting animals....It is realy amazing to see how this orangutan behaves....

I have never seen a real orang-utan, but this video is really amazing. You would like to play with the apes and to see until which level goes its capacities. For example could it imitate also writing words??? I don't think so, because anyway, there is a difference between the mind of animals and the mind of humans.
Yes I like watching videos about animals and nature, it is relaxing!

These Orang-Utans are smart, it always intertesting having a look on wild life I mean animals lives, so from my point of you no one should hurt animals, as human , they deserve to live peacefuly. So far I have not met an orang-utan.
The animals programmes are very helpful to undestand how animals live and why we should never hurt them. I enjoy the programmes.

- I believe orang-utans are quite similar to humans. As we can see from the video, they can act like we usually do, such as washing socks, tie rope knots, etc although they probably do not know what they are doing.
- I had never seen orang-utans in my real life.
- I would definitely like to see many more animal videos.