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Old 11-11-2003, 02:09 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Posts: 18,476
Raise A Baby Orangutan In A Human Family-What happens?

Would the adult orang behave like a human?I've heard that orangs are the most human of the primates-they are more intelligent than the gorillas, and more tolerant of human contact. has anybody ever raised a baby orang? Can they learn to clothe and feed themslves (like a human baby)?
Old 11-11-2003, 06:05 AM
mrsam mrsam is offline
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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There was a study done around about 1930 where a chimpanzee and a human baby where raised together. The parents, a psychologist and his wife, raised the two in exactly the same manner. What happened was that rather than the chimp imitating the baby, the baby imitated the chimp. At an age when most children speak 50-100 words, this baby spoke 2 words.

My memory of what exactly happened to the chimp is hazy. I think it learned to eat using a spoon, though I'm not 100% sure. I think putting on clothes remained a problem. The chimp was better than the baby at all the problem-solving tasks that the psychologist devised, and the experiment came to a premature end when it was evident that rather than the chimp acting more human, the human baby was acting more chimp.

The primate which is most like humans is the bonobo chimpanzee, pans bonobo. I don't think the experiment would differ much for an orang-utan but the most important thing to remember is that humans are the better imitators, not vice versa.
Old 11-11-2003, 06:31 AM
Matchka Matchka is offline
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Location: Lakewood, CO
Posts: 719
Bonobos make better lovers than Orangs, BTW. [dodges tomatoes & misc. rotten produce]

Orangs have been "pets" for a long time, but usually their mamas don't give up the babies without first demanding a gift of lead and plasma--so the practice is pretty hard on the species.

They are, of course, way intelligent (more so than a lot of people) and more physically capable than you. Kind of a bad combination for a pet if you think about it--they can really do a number on your home if they get into partying. between 1-5 years of age they start getting sexually mature and stir up escape/agression problems for the owner.

They are succeptible to TB & Hep B, as well as other human diseases, which they encounter only rarely in the wild and are not well equipped to fight.

They have a propensity to try to shave their owners using a straight razor, with disastrous results, and are then likely to dispose of the body by shoving it up the chimney, again with disastrous results.

So, yes and no. They DO behave like SOME humans: the kind of humans we try to keep behind bars.
Old 11-11-2003, 07:12 AM
Mac Guffin Mac Guffin is offline
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And, if they get pissed off, they can easly rip off your arms and beat you to death with them.

I think I'll stick with dogs and cats for pets.
Old 11-11-2003, 08:56 AM
Indefatigable Indefatigable is offline
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 321
Lots of animals get raised in human families-- even dogs and cats can pick up human body language, for example. There's a limit to how 'human' they can become, even in the case of a primate being raised alongside a human child, because there are intellectual limitations.

Cats are supposed to be about as intelligent as two-year-old children. It's funny to watch my cat with a two-year-old, because they really do seem to communicate on the same level (although the cat is the more 'mature' one, since he's older and has spent more time at that level of intelligence; he is therefore more socially well-adjusted).

I guess animals can learn human social behaviour up to a point, especially behaviours involving group interaction, but in terms of intelligence they're stuck at what a human would consider to be a child's level.
Old 11-11-2003, 09:38 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,189
Trying to raise one in a human family is potentially very dangerous for the humans, and isn't doing the ape any favors.


"Orangutans are wild animals and should not be kept as pets. They may be cute and cuddle as infants, but as they grow older they become more aggressive. The strength of an orangutan is much greater than that of humans so as they grow older they become impossible to control as pets."

And of course Cecil has addressed Chimps as pets here:
Old 11-11-2003, 07:30 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Location: Slithering on the hull
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The head librarian of a well-known university (well known in the UK, anyway) made quite a study of human-orangutan interactions. His is considered the definitive word on the topic.

Unfortunatley, the word is "ook".
Old 11-11-2003, 07:49 PM
biddee biddee is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Trinidad
Posts: 543
QtM, another Discworld fan, I see...I was thinking the same thing as I read the thread.....
Old 11-11-2003, 08:13 PM
stockton stockton is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 937
Put me squarely in the camp that warns you that the little visitor can tear your limbs off within a few years, for any (or no) provocation whatsoever. You'd be better off as Seigfried's new partner. They only get chomped once every 30 years or so.
Old 11-11-2003, 08:51 PM
_pax_ _pax_ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2
My family had a pet orangutan when I was very small. Some stupid idiot tourist person "found" him in the jungle "abandoned," and brought him to us. We kept him, because the tourist had come a long way from the spot where he'd been taken, and the oran would likely have died if we'd tried to return him after the amount of time that had passed.

We named him Roger Copied, and had him for about a year before he died of illness. I played with him every day, pulled him around the yard in my wagon, and taught him to ride my tricycle. He enjoyed riding in my wagon, and my older brother and I loved to climb on our homemade bamboo monkey bars with him because we wanted to be able to swing across them as well as he did.

I don't remember trying to dress him, but I do remember some truly monumental messes that he made. I don't remember him ever getting angry, and I don't think anyone in my family ever felt threatened by him. Keeping in mind that he died before he really began to mature, that's not saying much. But as a baby, he was sweet and cuddly and a lot of fun.

I don't think we could have made him more human than he was.

Old 11-12-2003, 12:37 AM
Sinungaling Sinungaling is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 303
Orangutans in the wild are solitary creatures. I don't see how well they'd fit in with humans, since our species absolutely love to live in groups. Not all of us, of course, but we're still a lot more gregarious than orangutans. And yes, humans are the 90-pound weaklings of the great apes.

orangutan = man of the forest (Bahasa indonesian)
orang = man


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