Hyderabad: As washing hands frequently is considered as one of the effective precautions against novel Coronavirus, a video went viral yesterday claiming that Orangutan named Sandra learnt to wash hands after seeing all zoo keepers wash hands frequently.
The viral video claims, "Sandra, the Orangutan started washing her hands because she saw all Zoo keepers doing it."
The post was also shared by sustainable development goals twitter page of India.
#WashYourHands Learn from the Best 🦧
Sandra, the Orangutan started washing her hands because she saw all Zoo keepers doing it@DrTedros @davidnabarro @drharshvardhan @kiranshaw @alexisohanian @ActorMadhavan @AidanRGallagher @JaneGoodallInst @biz
— SDG2030 (@SDG2030) April 2, 2020
The video was also viral on Facebook.
The claim the orangutan learnt washing hands after seeing zoo keepers wash hands is FALSE. While we extracted key frames from the video and did a Google reverse image search, we found that the video was originally published on November 3, 2019, way before the outbreak of coronavirus.
The video was shared by Centre for Great Apes (CGA), in their Facebook page, with a caption, "Sandra has daily pools of water and really likes to wash things -- her toys, her surroundings, and her hands! Sandra loves to clean up! #orangutancaringweek #cleanhands #bubblesarebest. (sic)"
The CGA takes care of orangutans which have retired from the entertainment industry and are no longer liked as pets.
According to the information provided in CGA's website, Sandra was born on February 14, 1986 at the Rostock Zoologischer Garten in Germany. Sandra Later lived in Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentine until it closed in 2016. As there were no sanctuaries for Orangutans in Argentine, she was moved to US in September 2019.
The website reads, "In November 2019, Sandra arrived at the Center for Great Apes where she will have the opportunity to meet other orangutans and have permanent sanctuary care."
The Centre for Great Apes had reshared video of Sandra on March 15 again to explain the importance of washing hands for 20 seconds as per the guidelines of Centre for Diseases Control.
They tweeted, "She definitely scrubbed her hands for longer than 20 seconds, good job Sandra! :). (sic)"
Hence the claim that Sandra the Orangutan learnt to wash hands after COVID-19 outbreak watching the zookeepers is false. But she is now inspiration for many.