Orangutan Uses Plant to Treat Face Wound, First Documented Instance

In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have observed a male orangutan deliberately treating a wound on its face with a medicinal plant. This behavior, a first-of-its-kind observation, has left researchers astounded.

Rakus, a primate from Indonesia, was involved in a fight in 2022. As a result, he sustained a severe facial wound in the form of a deep gash near his right eye.

Officials spent the next few days closely monitoring Rakus and were surprised to witness some peculiar behavior from the orangutan. They observed Rakus chewing on a specific liana plant, which is not typically part of their diet. To their astonishment, it was discovered that the plant possessed remarkable healing properties.

According to scientists, Rakus, at least once, took some of the chewed paste and intentionally applied it to his cut, possibly using the plant as a treatment for the wound. This observation signifies a groundbreaking moment as it is the first known instance of an animal applying medicine to a skin injury.

Rakus seems to have stumbled upon a miraculous cure because the wound miraculously avoided any infection and completely healed within a month.

Scientists have not yet determined whether the behavior observed by Rakus was accidental or if it is a culturally learned behavior that all orangutans possess as instinct.

In 2008, a fascinating observation was made in Borneo when a group of orangutans was seen applying a paste on themselves. This paste, commonly used by locals to relieve joint pain, caught the attention of researchers. While animals using medicine is not entirely unheard of, this particular instance seemed to be more intentional and purposeful. Unlike previous observations where such behavior appeared random, these orangutans seemed to have a clear reason for using the paste.

Read More:  Is It Illegal to Jaywalk in Massachusetts? Here’s What the Law Says


If Rakus and his team are actually more intelligent than they are revealing, then we should brace ourselves for a scenario reminiscent of the movie ‘Planet of the Apes.’

Read More:

Leave a Comment