While many believe that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, a study back in 2009 proposed that orangutans, in fact, are our closest relatives.
When you see this incredible interaction with Rocky the orangutan and a woman, you’ll be hard-pressed to prove otherwise. He approaches the meeting as a child or a curious adult would, with a calm composure and an inquisitive eye.
Meet Rocky. He’s 11 years old and very smart.
In fact, he earned worldwide attention a few years back when researchers learned that orangutans have far more developed vocalization patterns and habits than we ever knew. In other words, Rocky showed them that he could pretty much communicate like a human.
But when a burn victim came to visit the orangutan exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo, where Rocky lives, he proved just how right those findings were.
Back in 2015, Darci Miller suffered severe burns on her neck and arm.
She’s made great bounds in her recovery, but she still has a long way to go. Presumably looking for a pick-me-up, Darci and her fiancé decided to go the Indianapolis Zoo. There she was immediately greeted by Rocky.
First, he looked closely at Darci’s tattoos.
But then he noticed her burn scars and asked to see them.
Rocky was so curious about Darci’s burns that people watching asked if his reaction was normal.
You can hear what is most likely a staff member saying, “This is totally normal for Rocky … He’s like, ‘I need to see this.'”
Rocky is so curious, but he is also very calm about his interaction with Darci. He doesn’t bang on the glass or make noises, he just wants to see why Darci is covering up her body. He almost appears empathetic to what she has gone through.
Watch the video below to see for yourself just how close to humans orangutans really are.
Be sure to share this beautiful exchange to spread some love!