A five-year-old Sumatran orangutan is seen pestering her aunt in the most mischievous way in a new video released by keepers at Chester Zoo.
The footage of the attention-seeking ape, named Tuti, shows her using numerous sticks to wind up new-mum Emma as she looks to play with her baby cousin.
Chester Zoo is currently the only zoo in mainland Britain that cares for Sumatran orangutans, which can be found in the attraction’s South East Asian Islands habitat.
Sumatran orangutans are one of the world’s most endangered great apes and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Recent estimates suggest there are just 14,000 remaining in the wild.
It is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of oil palm plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest.
There is an intense demand for the oil, which can be found in more than 50% of every day products in the UK, including food, cleaning and cosmetic goods.
Cat Barton, field conservation manager at Chester Zoo, said: “All species of orangutan are under enormous pressure in the wild as their forest homes are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations.
“Right now we are fighting for these amazing animals in South East Asia – helping restore depleted forests and building bridges so orangutans can roam between forests freely.”
Cat added: “We can all help make a huge difference here in the UK by being vigilant when shopping in supermarkets and checking labels to make sure products only contain sustainable palm oil.
“It’s a small action that will, in time, make a huge difference to their future. Without urgent action they could be the first great ape to go extinct. We just cannot let that happen.”
Palm oil is such a widely-used ingredient because it is incredibly efficient, requiring less space to produce than any other vegetable oil.
Chester Zoo’s conservationists are campaigning to increase demand for sustainable palm oil and improve the sustainable scheme, rather than avoiding palm oil entirely.
The zoo is currently working with local businesses and restaurants to turn Chester into the UK’s first Sustainable Palm Oil City.
Conservationists from the zoo are also currently partnering non-governmental organisations (NGOs) overseas in South East Asia who are working to improve and develop policies within schemes such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to protect the rainforests and biodiversity in the region.