Watch an Incredibly Smart Orangutan Make a Trade with a Human Visitor

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Orangutan, bornean
© Marketa Myskova/

Sometimes we make the most unlikely of friends as we go on our travels around the world. Just as we shouldn’t judge humans solely based on their appearance, and we should get to know them first, the same can be said of animals. They often surprise us with their friendliness and also for the intelligence that they express. 

This next video takes us to beautiful Bali in Indonesia. A man, Vitaly R., is vacationing there and has gone to a local zoo there in Bali. He stopped at the ape’s section and came across a large orangutan that was just chilling by the water. Unphased and unmoved, he stays completely still during his interaction with this passerby. 

The man stops to throw some food into the orangutan’s habitat right by him. We will pause for a moment to tell you that it’s never recommended to feed an animal at a zoo or even wild animals you might come across. We, first of all, never know how an animal might react to something being thrown at them or if they are able to eat what we give them. So, it’s always best not to. 

However, in the case of this video, this interaction went quite well. After the man threw food to the orangutan. We see him reaching beside him for some fruit that is nearby. He decided that since this man shared with him, he might as well share back!

Orangutans have 97% of human DNA.

©tristan tan/

He throws the food right to the man! Onlookers have stopped to watch this playful interaction. Then we see this man throw it back, and the orangutan starts to play catch as they throw it back and forth with one another. 

Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus, Pongo abelii, Pongo tapanuliensis)

The orangutan is an ape, not to be confused with a monkey. The way we can know this is that apes are much larger than monkeys. For example, most monkeys weigh between 0.22-60 pounds. Whereas the orangutan, as an ape, weighs between 66-200 pounds and reaches 3-5.5 feet. 

Orangutan deep in thought

Orangutans can run 2.7 miles per hour.

©Everything I Do/

Orangutans are omnivores and will eat fruit, bark, and insects. Their primary predators are tigers and clouded leopards. Given the orangutan’s size, only large felines will go after these apes.

It’s also interesting to note that orangutans have 97% of human DNA! Perhaps this is why this ape was so incredibly friendly to this bystander.

How Large Are Adult Orangutans?

Orangutan in Indonesia with her baby.

Orangutan species are similar in height but have differing weights.

©Katesalin Pagkaihang/

There are three species of orangutans – the Bornean, the Sumatran, and a newer discovered species, Tapanuli. Adult males are typically larger than females. The male Bornean orangutan can weigh between 110 to 220, while the females are typically 66 to 110 pounds and can range between 3 to 5.5 feet tall. The Sumatran orangutan is similar in height but may weigh less.

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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