By Jamie Smith
An adorable orangutan was spotted enjoying washing its armpits in a river in Indonesia.
The primates are known to be naturally shy of water and wary of predators.
But this intrepid male orangutan went 5ft deep into the Sekoyner river and at one point, even held a tree branch to wash its armpits.
The rare photos were taken by Jayaprakash Bojan while he was working on a portfolio for a photobook on the elusive primates at Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan in late August.
Jayaprakash said: “I was at the national park when I spotted this huge male orangutan getting into the river to get to the other side.
“This was very special and unique because orangutans are generally very shy of water and wary of the predators like crocodiles and alligators, historically documented only a very few times.
“At one point he rested in the river with one hand holding a tree branch and looked like he was having a bath or a shower.
“He looked as though he was enjoying being there in the river in waist deep waters!”
Jayaram travelled for three hours on a small boat to reach the location and waited for two days to see the orangutan.
He said: “While talking to rangers around the park we were told that one of the rangers had seen an orangutan occasionally crossing a river in a remote part of the Sekoyner river.
“I was very excited thinking about it in my head.
“We switched from a large house boat to a speedboat to get to the location since the location was a narrow river stretch and it took us about three hours in the rough sea before we got to the river stretch.
“It was amazing to watch him peep from behind the tree to see if I was still there.
“Thankfully, I was behind a huge tree trunk and did not scare it.
“After a while he seemed a lot more comfortable in my presence and continued to the walk through the river with his hands in the air.
“I was a little worried because the river is also home to some fresh water crocodiles.
“Nevertheless, after about 48 hours of waiting when the orangutan showed up, I got into the river to make these frames.
“He was very cautious and waited at the edge of the river approximately four to five-feet-deep for a few minutes before he decided to walk across with his hands in the air.
“I had to make a quick judgement call if I wanted to get into the river as I was a little worried just in case there were predators in the river.”
The passionate photographer quit the corporate world after 18 years of work and decided to travel extensively across Asia and Africa to focus on documenting the rarest of the endangered primates.
He said: “Initially I was very excited to be able to witness and photograph something rare but was also saddened thinking about the future of the Orangutans considering the rate at which their habitat is being destroyed for palm oil farming.
“The pictures reflect sadness, empathy and helplessness of these animals.
“It is against their instincts to do so. The assumption here is that either they have learnt it by watching humans or its something they had to do to survive in the changing landscape due to loss of habitat from palm oil farming.”