Wild Orangutan Learns To Saw Tree Branches Like A Freaking Boss

By Travis Greenwood

Orangutan see, orangutan do.

Wild Orangutan Learns To Saw Tree Branches Like A Freaking Boss
credit: BBC

That's the takeaway from a fascinating new video from the BBC that's been making the rounds on the Interwebs this week.

The clip opens with an female orangutan — and a handsaw she finds on the porch of a jungle hut somewhere in Borneo. Though the animal is ostensibly wild, she uses her opposable thumbs to wield the tool with ease and confidence.

Wild orangutan cuts tree branch with handsaw
credit: BBC

After pausing momentarily to clear loose sawdust from the branch, she pauses to review her progress.

Wild orangutan clears sawdust from tree branch
credit: BBC

The orangutan even steadies the tree limb with her feet as she slices away. (This isn't the trailer for the next sequel to the Planet Of The Apes films, we swear.)

Wild orangutan uses to feet to steady tree branch
credit: BBC

Having observed her from a distance, a second orangutan posts up on the porch and begins halving a branch of his own. The mind-blowing twist: it's a lifelike animatronic robot. (Cueing the Westworld jokes in 3, 2, 1 ... )

Wild orangutan spurred on by competition
credit: BBC

What happens next, however, is totally unexpected: motivated by a sense of competition, the female pushes the pace and brings the complex task to completion (though, upon finishing, she promptly dozes off, which is something we can also relate to).

In an interview with International Business Times, a spokesperson attached to the BBC shares the following:

"No one suspected that any fully wild orangutan knew the technique, but this one suddenly picked up a saw and used it. 'Spy Orangutan' had been programmed to saw, too, and when the real orangutan spotted her sawing, it seemed to spur her on."

Watch the full clip, which is completely bananas, below: