Orangutan washes windows at Parisian zoo

A 47-year-old Bornean orangutan in Paris has unknowingly been promoted to the zoo's cleaning lady as the ape has started to clean the glass of her enclosed habitat.

An orangutan in Paris has unknowingly been promoted to the zoo's cleaning lady as the ape has started to clean the glass of her enclosed habitat.

Nénette is an orangutan at the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, who likes to hang from the ceiling and wipe the windows of her home.

Video shows the 47-year-old Bornean orangutan wetting the rag with her mouth and stretching her arms as far as possible in order to properly wash the windows.

When she's cleaned as far as she can reach, she stows the rag in her mouth, swinging to a new spot to continue the job. 

According to Dr Susannah Thorpe from the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences, Nénette was imitating human behaviour that she had observed. 

She said: 'Orangutans are extremely intelligent, they have a very long period of learning and so they will watch what behaviours other individuals are exhibiting and they'll emulate those.' 

Nénette hangs from the ceiling and gets ready to wipe the windows of her home at the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, pictured

Nénette hangs from the ceiling and gets ready to wipe the windows of her home at the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, pictured

The 47-year-old Bornean orangutan wets the rag with her mouth and stretches her arms as far as possible in order to wash the windows, pictured

The 47-year-old Bornean orangutan wets the rag with her mouth and stretches her arms as far as possible in order to wash the windows, pictured

Dr Thorpe added: 'That's how they learn how to build complex nests, how to move through forest canopy and how to solve the challenges that their environment presents them with on a daily basis'. 

Orangutan Foundation International, which works to rescue and rehabilitate apes, has described them using handfuls of leaves like napkins to wipe their chins. 

Nénette, pictured, is one of the oldest orangutans in the world. She arrived at the zoo in 1972

Nénette, pictured, is one of the oldest orangutans in the world. She arrived at the zoo in 1972

Orangutans are known to imitate human behaviour, like Nénette pictured here washing her windows

Orangutans are known to imitate human behaviour, like Nénette pictured here washing her windows

They have also been seen washing clothes and walking on two legs like humans, and using tools like saws and hammers to perform basic tasks. 

Humans and orangutans share 97 per cent of the same genetic code and comprise two of the four varieties of great ape- the other two being gorillas and chimpanzees.

Nénette was born in the wild at the end of the 1960s and is one of the oldest known orangutans in the world. 

She's been at the Jardin des plantes since 1972 and currently lives there with fellow orangutans Theodora and Theodora's daughter, Tamu.