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Published on Jul 6, 2012
During a two year period (1978-1980), the young orangutan Princess learned nearly 40 signs in the only sign language program with apes to be conducted in the species' natural habitat. Princess, like the other sign learning orangutans at Camp Leakey, Central Kalimantan, was an ex-captive who was being rehabiliated to life in the wild. However, Princess was home-reared in this unique project that gave her the freedom to explore her natural environment and learn signs in the context of that environment. Here, she is accompanying Gary Shapiro, her teacher and adopted father, in a swim in the Sekonyer River. While Princess is now fully adult, she still enjoys cooling off in the Sekonyer River on occasion and will use her signs to request items of interest. For more information about Princess's signing abilities, visit http://www.orangutanrepublik.org/GLSD... . For more information about the plight of the orangutan, visit http://www.orangutanrepublik.org. (c) Gary Shapiro and Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative.