Different species of animals living in the same enclosures sound like a strange practice that the Belgian zoo has implemented. They have adopted this as a technic to enrich the enclosures with various animal families spending time with other species. As a result, a family of orangutans with otters have formed a very special bond. They first met when the staff at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette ran the otters’ river through the orangutans’’ enclosure. The orangutan family consists of 3 members – Dad ( Ujian who is 24, mom ( Sari, 15 years ), and their son ( Berani, who just turned 4 ). Berani, the curious little son of this family plays hide and seek with the otters, which is utterly adorable as depicted in the images below. Mathieu Godefroy, spokesman for Pairi Daiza zoo said “ The otters hide under large tree trunks or wooden constructions, then Berani, the baby orangutan comes to look for them. Once and a while they pop out to tease him. It’s really amazing to see.”

According to Mathieu the zoo contains many species living along with other species. Gorillas with monkeys, penguins with seals, kangaroos with pelicans, squirrels with bats, hippos with pelicans, giraffes with ostriches, Asian elephants with Asian gazelles, zebras with buffalos are some classic examples of their efforts to collaborate these groups of animals.

The zoo is currently closed due to a nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic in Belgium. But as per Mathieu, the lockdown has not prevented them from ensuring the very best care for these animals. According to him the size and the quality of the enclosure are the two important factors that are proportional to the wellbeing of the animals. Especially the orangutans, where humans share 97%  of the DNA with must be kept active at all times with challenges, entertainment, and must be kept busy at all times both physically and mentally.

Moreover, Mathieu commented since 2017 when orangutans moved from Germany to Pairi Daiza zoo, the others just loved spending time with the “ big furry friends “ This special connection between the two species has allowed them to be good neighbors with a special bond with fun and excitement. The zoo not only stepped forward to enrich the lives of the animals that they take care of, but they are also acting socially responsible towards the society which was evident by what Mathieu told CNN. They have raised funds to plant 11k palm trees in Borneo to restore the forest there and help the native orangutans.

Image credits: Caters News
Image credits: Caters News