Where you find orangutang?
August 18, 2009 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Did I see a little girl holding an orangutang on the streets of downtown Arlington, VA in early June 2008?

Ok internets, I'm asking one doozy of a question, but I believe in your power. Please settle a year long argument between my BF and I.

About a year ago, maybe in early June of 2008 on a weekend afternoon, I was driving to an art exhibit in downtown Arlington, VA. I spied on the sidewalk, a young african-american girl of 10-12 years holding, what I believe was a live orangutang. The orangutang was facing the girl, legs around her waist, and arms over her shoulders. It was wearing a diaper, and appeared to be heavy in the little girl's arms. She was with other older boys that could have been her brothers and family. I believe she was wearing light colored shorts, flip flops and ribbons in her hair. I wish I had pulled over, but alas did not. I only saw this for a moment. The orangutang didn't move, in the short span of time I saw it.

My BF who was in the passenger's seat, also saw this and does not believe it was a real orangutang. Who can blame him? It's crazy to think a little girl would have an orangutang right? He does admit that the orangutang looked very realistic, this wasn't a fuzzy stuffed animal.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Maybe you grew up with a zoologist/primatologist parent and frequently went for strolls with orangutans or know someone who does. Maybe you collect life sized orangutang dolls, dress them in diapers, and can attest to their realism? Perhaps you know of a movie filmed in Arlington about a little girl and her orangutang?

Anything, even wild speculation is welcomed.
posted by fontophilic to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Were you anywhere near North Fairfax Drive? The Nature Conservancy have their headquarters there. Maybe they were doing some kind of fundraiser or awareness event. Maybe worth giving them a call and asking.
posted by IanMorr at 11:17 AM on August 18, 2009

Response by poster: That's exactly where I was, a block away it looks like.

I will give them a call later. I'm ok being anonymous crazy orangutang girl over the phone. I'll report back.
posted by fontophilic at 11:40 AM on August 18, 2009

As the boyfriend in question, I'm fairly certain that we saw the alleged orangutan at this intersection, though fontophilic disagrees with me on that as well. She thinks it was around here, but I remember discussing that the people looked like they had been heading home from the school. The address she pointed to in her response above is where we were eventually headed.

It did, as I recall, look "realistic"; I'd say that it was a decent doll rather than some sort of floppy plush toy. It looked much more like this than this. Also note that if it was actually an orangutan (which I'm 99.995% certain it wasn't), it would have obviously had to have been a baby. It was probably about the size of a two- or three-year old (human) child.
posted by malthas at 2:22 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

You two. Did you call?
posted by Pants! at 8:18 AM on August 19, 2009

Response by poster: I just called the Nature Conservancy, and spoke to a very friendly person. She couldn't recall any event that they had done to bring orangutans near their office. She did offer that the Jane Goodall Institute share the same building as them, and thinks that they might have brought chimpanzees in. I just gave them a call, and left a voicemail for their communications person that works afternoons. Hopefully she'll give me a call back. I feel like we're getting close!

The woman at the Nature Conservancy was very understanding, and had her own animal mystery story to pass on. She says that 10 years ago in the College Park, MD area around 9:30 at night, she had just gotten off work and was walking to her car when she swears she saw a kangaroo. In fact it was so strange and scared her, that she turned around and walked a different way, not wanting to investigate if it really was a kangaroo or not. She's always wondered if she really did see a kangaroo and is eager to hear the answer to my mystery.
posted by fontophilic at 9:01 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

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