We started out on a "Jungle Trek" a couple of days ago at 0900 in an effort to catch a glimpse of one of the orangutan that inhabit the natural park adjacent to Bukit Lewang, the location of our homestay in Northern Sumatra. It is one of the last few remaining places to see the primate in the wild.
The word Orangutan is a Malay word (and Indonesian as their languages are similar)
"Orang" means people.
"Hutan" means jungle.
My only exposure to these primates was probably seeing one or two in a terrible Clint Eastwood film in the 1980s.
By about 0915 I was covered in sweat and working my way into the jungle. The REI adventure gear I had purchased prior to the trip was finally getting some use.
It was not too much later that we saw one with her baby. The Orangutan has more common genetics with humans than any other animal on the planet. I can't say they are the most beautiful animal I have ever seen, but their dexterity more than makes up for it.
To watch the Orangutan use all four of its limbs and maneuver from tree to tree 150 feet above us while carrying its child was a real treat. We wound up seeing 5 that day and it was worth the heat exhaustion.
There are many moments I look at the beauty of this earth and find it hard not to believe in God. This was a moment where I found it hard not to believe in evolution as well.