INCREDIBLE images have captured the moment an orangutan tried to help a man standing beneath him in a deep river in Borneo.
The gentle creature appears to be leaning down and offering a helping hand to the man who had been in the muddy river searching for snakes – many of which pose a threat to primates.
The striking pictures were taken in a conservation forest area in Borneo, where the endangered species are protected from hunters.
Amateur photographer Anil Prabhakar, from Indonesia, had been out trekking with friends in the area while on safari, when he spotted the touching encounter taking place.
He later found out that the unnamed man worked for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at protecting the endangered species.
The worker, submerged up to his chest in the water, had been clearing away snakes from the area to help keep the orangutans safe before his inquisitive animal friend interrupted him.
Mr Prabhakar revealed the worker actually ended up refusing the orangutan's hand after the camera caught the incredible moment in a picture, because it's a wild animal.
He said: "Someone told him there was a snake in the river. The warden went there and cleared the bushes.”
"An orangutan came to the banks and was watching what he was doing. He then came closer and gave his hand.”
"The warden just moved away. I asked him why later and he said, 'It's a wild animal, not one we are familiar with.”
"But they are to protect them."
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is an Indonesian non-profit organisation founded in 1991.
It is “dedicated to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat”, working in cooperation with local communities, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and international partner organisations.
The foundation, which has 400 members of staff, is currently taking care of almost 650 orangutans.
The website says: "As one of our closest living relatives orangutans are highly intelligent, sentient beings.”
"They are an iconic species of Indonesia and an important umbrella species.
"By protecting orangutans in their natural habitat, a whole plethora of other flora and fauna are also protected. Protecting their forest habitat is as important to humans as much as it is to wildlife."
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