Just hanging on
His lithe frame at full stretch, an orang-utan attempts to spearfish in a river on Kaja Island, Borneo, mimicking what he has watched humans do.Time and again he plunges his “spear” – a simple stick – into the murky water. When his exertions prove fruitless, he changes tack, using the implement to pull in nets, then making off with the fishermen’s catch. Elsewhere on the island, an orang-utan plunges into the river, swimming to the opposite side to steal fruit. His extraordinary feat – orang-utans have only recently learned to swim – was captured by photographer Jay Ullal for Thinkers Of The Jungle, a grim examination of the plight of the hairy red ape.But while the Indian photojournalist captured the images and German journalist Gerd Schuster penned the words, the man at the heart of this emotional journal is conservationist Dr Willie Smits.