The Wisdom of Animal Kingdom That Left Me Speechless

NewsBharati    24-May-2024 14:15:13 PM   
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I recently read a news article about an orangutan that treated its wound with some leaves. It reminded me of the incident, I can see it happening in front of my eyes anytime I think of it. I witnessed this at least 35 years ago and had taken my daughter to a small zoo in Peshwe Park.

We were standing in front of the cage of the orangutan, outside the cage steel bars were fixed to keep people at a distance from the animal. Many children were standing near the bar. A child had a packet of potato wafers in his hands, wanted to share them with the orangutan and instantly offered some to the orangutan. Of course, the child flung some to the orangutan who eagerly waited for the treat. The pieces that fell inside or near the cage were easy to pick up, but some fell at a distance. No one dared to go near the cage and push the pieces even by using a stick.
animals park
The orangutan stretched its arm to pick them up, some could be gathered. Still, some were out of bounds, it looked around and focused, found an Ashoka leaf, picked it up with the thumb and the index finger and successfully fetched some more pieces. Still, there were some tiny bits even beyond the reach of the leaf. It tried a couple of times in vain, and it did something unimaginable, it tore the leaf length-wise. It became double the original length and the orangutan would throw it gently in the direction of those bits, and pull them carefully towards itself. When finally all the bits were collected, that was the moment everyone around clapped enthusiastically in appreciation. No one could believe that the orangutan found the solution using a leaf. Seeing us clap, the watchman came to us and exclaimed that potato wafers are the favourite snacks of orangutans. I still remember the faces of the astonished people who could not believe their eyes.

We moved on to see other animals and became busy describing the animals in the cage. As we went near the small cages of monkeys, we saw that one monkey was waiting for someone or something to happen ( this we realised after a couple of minutes). Suddenly a monkey jumped from a big tree and walked down to the cage where the caged monkey was eagerly looking at the regular visitor. The moment the second monkey approached the cage, the monkey inside turned its back to the visitor monkey. The free monkey went near the cage and with its sharp eyes picked all the tiny insects to make the caged monkey comfortable, the work was finished and the unimaginable exchange took place. The caged monkey had many cucumbers and carrots given by the zoo person, it handed some to the free monkey and patted on his back. The free monkey happily ate and in no time disappeared in the trees.

We all were amazed at the perfect barter system executed so intelligently.

The watchman explained that this caged monkey insists on getting more than its needs as some portion is to be shared with its friend as a reward. Usually, we see monkeys helping each other to pick insects for each other. The cages have only one monkey each, this need is not fulfilled, so it found a very smart way out.

Of course, sometimes do we need to cage the animals in such tiny spaces? Their natural inclination is probably lost, their needs are not fulfilled, and their social life is hampered, at least then the cages were too small to accommodate the free souls like monkeys or orangutans. Now some policies seem to have changed, zoos are much bigger and better. Their food and health are taken care of to a great extent. The approach too is changed a lot.

A bird too surprised me recently, a couple of years ago, we were standing on the bank of Narmada Maiyya, and the speed of the water could be sensed easily. Suddenly, I saw a bouquet flowing with a small bird riding this small raft and enjoying the water ride heartily. It was a sight to behold, we all were amazed at the sense of recreation of the bird.

Saw another bird standing still in a small rivulet, for some prey to be sighted. It was a somewhat crowded place near ' Tale Kaveri ', despite noise and hustle and bustle, it was focused.
Usually, we think human beings are the most intelligent creatures on earth, but when we witness such unbelievable incidents, they destroy any such claim.

Prof. Vidya Deshpande

Professor Vidya Deshpande has had a journey of more than four decades in the field of education. Her  main expertise is in the subject of Philosophy,  and she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and logic with Nowrosjee Wadia college for 36 years. She has been associated with the Janakalyan Blood bank for last for 38 years and has also carried out the responsibility as a management committee member of Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha for 10 years. Her special fields of interest are Philosophy of social sciences, school education, development of skills for self reliance,  and top up skills to make students profession ready,