Are animals smarter than human beings? Multiple videos captured from different zoos might make us believe that they are indeed better than many of us, especially primates such as monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans. Now, in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, a video of an orangutan washing her hands with soap and water has started doing the rounds on social media.

Netizens claim that the animal started doing this apparently after its caretakers were frequently seen washing their hands following the instructions of the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The video instantly went viral with many claiming that apes are much smarter than 95 percent of their supposedly more evolved cousins.

Sandra, the orangutan at Centre for Great Apes in Florida
Sandra, the orangutan at Center for Great Apes in Florida Center for Great Apes/Facebook

"Sandra the orangutang started washing her hands because she saw all the zookeepers doing it repeatedly during the COVID-19 crisis. Wash your hands. Be more like Sandra. (sic)❤️," reads the caption of the video shared by the user Rex Chapman that has been viewed over 6.3 million times on Twitter alone.

Sandra, the orangutan washing her hands
Video of Sandra, the orangutan washing her hands is going viral on social media Rex Chapman/Twitter

Hoax busted

It has to be noted that the video initially surfaced online at least one month before the COVID-19 outbreak emerged in Wuhan, China. On 12 November 2019, the video was shared on the Facebook page of the 'Center for Great Apes' and is not associated with the latest pandemic. It is understood that the orangutan, identified as Sandra, started washing her toys, surroundings, and her hands even before the WHO advised people to do so. So yeah! she is, of course, smarter than many of us.

Video of Sandra, the orangutan, washing her hands surfaced online even before the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Video of Sandra, the orangutan, washing her hands surfaced online even before the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Centre for Great Apes/Facebook

After the video of Sandra went viral in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, has used the video to encourage more people to follow the instructions of the WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) on washing their hands for at least 20 seconds to avoid getting infected with the Coronavirus.

"She definitely scrubbed her hands for longer than 20 seconds, good job Sandra! :)Sandra is setting a great example for the rest of us! ... but obviously doesn't care that she's famous."

Meanwhile, looking at other videos shared on this Facebook page, it is understood that it is not just Sandra, but there were many other apes, who were spotted cleaning their toys as well as practising social distancing.

Watch the actual video here: