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Monday, December 22, 2008

I hope the Orangutans get to take over, after all the damn humans have gone

Orangutan
Orangutan: Smart lil' persons of the forest

Wiki

The word orangutan (also written orang-utan, orang utan and orangutang) is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning "person" and hutan meaning "forest",[3] thus "person of the forest".


Orangutans, Resistance and the Zoo
Ken Allen would make his first successful escape on June 13, 1985. Keepers found him mingling among visitors outside of his exhibit. After he was placed into isolation, officials set to work trying to figure out exactly how he did it. A few years previous, Ken had constructed a ladder out of some fallen branches. “He was very methodical about it,” one employee noted. “He would carefully put the foot of the ladder on the ground, and pound it with his hand to be sure it was solid, and then he would climb to the top of the wall and climb back down.” But there was no ladder to be seen this time. So that was ruled out. It might have been human error: a door left ajar or something. But that did not appear to be the case either. The zoo was definitely stumped. Nonetheless, it was not going take any chances. Cinder-blocks were stacked to raise the height of the retaining wall, and several portions were smoothed over to prevent any handholds. These alterations, the zoo anticipated, would do the trick. They didn’t.

Ken escaped again on July 29th and then again in early August. Each time, San Diego would make additional changes. The walls were made taller. The surfaces were made smoother. Electrified wires were added to guard the perimeter. Keepers brought in new females into the exhibit. The hope here was that one of young ladies might attract Ken’s attention. We want, the trainers’ stated bluntly, “to turn his wanderlust into just lust.” San Diego even started using spies. Zoo employees would disguise themselves as visitors. They would dress up in blue jeans, sunglasses, and a Hawaiian shirt, and watch from afar to see if they could spot anything unusual happening. The zoo eventually began utilizing two spies at the once, as it was certain that Ken was recognizing its informants. This belief would be affirmed.

Less than an hour after being released from solidarity confinement on August 13th, Ken was spotted standing with a small crowbar. Uncover trainers figured that someone must have forgotten it during the last round of construction, and they were alarmed. What would Ken do with it? Should they clear the area just to be safe? Those worries were put to ease when the orangutan tossed the tool aside. Ken did not appear to be interested in it - although the trainers should have known better. As one noted expert warned, if a tool like a screwdriver is ever accidentally left in a cage, an orangutan will “notice it immediately but ignore it lest a keeper discover the mistake. That night, he’d use it to dismantle his cage and escape.” Strangely enough, the crowbar itself landed only feet from a fellow inmate, Vicki, but this was not of particular concern either. The keepers’ focus was on Ken, and they followed him as he meandered across the exhibit to the far side. Within minutes, a loud noise disturbed their concentration. Vicki had been hard at work in a secluded spot, attempting to pry open the molding between two glass panels. The glass cracked but held in place. “I’m having a lot of trouble staying one step ahead of this group,” the head trainer admitted afterwards. Some at the San Diego Zoo believed that the two orangutans were in on this escapade together with Ken supplying the distraction and Vicki the muscle. To err on the side of caution, administrators placed both animals into isolation.


Replace 'Orangutan' with 'the prisoner'

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