Orangutan News: What Humans Can Learn From Orangutans

Primatologist Leif Cocks with one of his orangutan charges. photo courtesy of The Orangutan Project
Primatologist Leif Cocks with one of his orangutan charges. photo courtesy of The Orangutan Project

By Sarah Macdonald for ABC.net.au

There is no doubt there is a hierarchy of animals. We egocentric humans put ourselves on the top and assign creatures such as cockroaches and rats towards the bottom.

But for primatologist, zoologist and former zookeeper Leif Cocks, there is an animal that deserves the status of personhood.

In his new book, Orangutans: My Cousins, My Friends, the vegan, non-leather wearing founder of The Orangutan Project argues that these critically endangered great apes of Sumatra and Borneo are far more intelligent than we give them credit for and so must be given special recognition and priority.

His arguments are scientifically and emotionally compelling and his stories are hilarious and deeply moving; this man has looked deep into the eyes of many orangutans and seen a special wisdom he believes could help us become better people.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in and is courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and can be read in its entirety here.

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