MYRTLE BEACH – Suryia is an orangutan and he has taken a liking to four new tiger cubs at the Myrtle Beach Safari preserve.
“Suryia showed genuine interest in the cubs when the humans were feeding and caring for them,” Robert Johnson, a senior trainer at the preserve, told ABC News. “As the saying goes, ‘monkey see, monkey do.’ Suryia started mimicking the human care giving behaviors and became very connected to the mothering process, which is particularly interesting for a male orangutan.”
The cubs are just about 2 months old and like cuddling and climbing all over the orangutan.
The animal, dressed in a child’s wetsuit to keep it warm, enjoys floating across the wide pool, before waving at onlookers.
Surya lives at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species in Myrtle Beach, SC.
He is put in the pool every week to keep him active and challenged and appears to enjoy splashing about with his trainers.
Animal expert Dr Bhagavan Antle said: “Suyra loves playing in the water. But he doesn’t like getting his head wet, so he wears a lifejacket so he doesn’t go underneath.
“He is quite content when he’s bobbing around on the top. And he loves the jet ski because he can look down on all of us.”
Dr Antle and his team of handlers introduced Surya and other orangutans to water when they were just babies and played in a large bath.
“The orangutans love playing in the bath. But they don’t swim naturally and so if you introduce them to the pool, they’d sink to the bottom,”
Visit our 50-acre preserve in Myrtle Beach, home to over 60 big cats. Monkey around with our apes, watch tigers swim, and meet our grey wolves. See tigers running at full speed and get the feel of our “cubs”. You may even get to meet Bubbles the African elephant. This is the only place in the world where you get to meet the Liger, the world’s largest cat as seen in the 2014 Guiness Book of World Records! www.myrtlebeachsafari.com