Family Of Orangutans Forms A Special Bond With Their Otter Friends That Share The Same Zoo Enclosure

The friendship between different animal species is always adorable to watch. This time, an unlikely friendship between a family of orangutans and some otters at a Belgian zoo has captured the internet’s attention (and its heart).

The orangutans and otters first met when the staff at Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette ran the otters’ river through the orangutans’ enclosure. Ever since then, a wholesome and dare we say magical bond formed between the two species.

The otterly adorable photos speak for themselves, so scroll down, get ready to aww and have a wide smile on your faces, dear Pandas. When you’re done enjoying this post, check out our previous article for some more unusual animal friendships.

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A family of orangutans has become friends with a group of otters at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium

Image credits: Caters News

This is dad Ujian who is 24 years old

Image credits: Caters News

He has formed an especially strong bond with the otters

Image credits: Caters News

Dad Ujian who is 24, mom Sari (15), and their son Berani (just 3 years old) make up the orangutan family in the zoo. In one of the photos, it even looks like Berani is playing hide and seek with his Asian small-clawed otter buddies.

According to Mathieu Goedefroy, spokesman for Pairi Daiza zoo, having two different animal species in close contact enriches both of their lives.

“Two factors are very important for the well being of an animal in captivity: the size of his enclosure, but also the quality of his enclosure,” he said. “This means that an animal— and this is even more the case of orangutans, with whom humans share 97 percent of their DNA—must be entertained, occupied, challenged and kept busy mentally, emotionally and physically at all times.”

This is 3-year-old Berani who loves playing with his friends and it’s otterly adorable

Image credits: Caters News

Berani is a very curious little orangutan

Image credits: Caters News

Mathieu explained that the zoo has an “enrichment program” for their orangutans where the keepers entertain them with mind games, riddles, and puzzles to keep their minds sharp.

“One of the ‘enrichments’ is to have different animal species together, so they can interact. That’s why we chose to let an otter family live in the river that runs through the orangutan territory,” he explained.

Mathieu pointed out that ever since 2017, when the orangutans moved from Germany to Pairi Daiza zoo, the otters just love interacting with their “big furry friends.”

“In particular, baby Berani and daddy Ujian have developed a very special bond with their neighbors,” Mathieu said. “It makes life more fun and interesting for both animal species, which makes it a very successful experiment.”

Palm plantations in Borneo and Sumatra threaten the orangutan populations there. Mathieu told CNN that the Pairi Daiza zoo has raised funds to plant 11k trees in Borneo to restore a forest there and help out the native orangutans.

People loved looking at the photos of the animals playing together

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