orangutan skiing

The orangutan who just loves to jet ski

By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 12:25 PM on 03rd January 2009

While most orangutans have to make do with swinging from the trees, cheeky Surya just loves aping about on a jet ski.

The four-year-old orangutan is given a child's jet ski to play on as part of his activities at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGER) in Miami, Florida.

Surya is allowed to play in the water on the motorised water bike as part of TIGER's weekly enrichment activities for the orangutans living there. The ape is dressed in a child's wetsuit and jets around the swimming pool before waving at onlookers.

Water baby: Surya the jet-skiing ape waves to onlookers
Helping hand: Surya with his trainer

He also loves swimming while wearing a red life jacket 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 life jacket 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.'

Skiing with Moksha

The jet skiing is part of activities to teach orangutans how to swim

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,' he added.

'So we discovered wearing children's lifejackets helps to give them confidence. Now some of them can even swim without their life jackets.

'But Surya prefers the jet ski and he'll always head for it as soon as we get into the pool.'