When Mike first presented this "extraordinary image" of an orangutan fishing with a spear, many thought it was photoshopped. We even ran a survey on it and a plurality agreed.
Now Michelle Desilets tells us:
As Executive Director of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation UK which funds the projects in Borneo where this photo was taken, I can confirm that the photo is authentic. It is also backed by the BOS Scientific Advisory Board, including Dr Anne Russon who has done extensive studies of the orangutans on this island. The behaviours including spear fishing and swimming on these islands is not uncommon, and are almost certainly learned behaviours as they have not been seen in wild populations. Chimps have been reported by National Geographic of using a similar technique to hunt bushbabies out of tree hollows in Senegal.
Thanks for the note! ::Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK