By Mark Hodge @Mrhodgey

AN OPPORTUNISTIC orangutan scrubs herself clean with a bar of soap – which she stole from a nearby boat

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Footage: Kevin Su
Producer: Mark Hodge
Editor: Kyle Waters

The mother lathered herself up with suds

Photographer Kevin Su, 31, shot the unusual footage as the mother ape lathered herself with suds.

Unable to find water to wash the soap from her hair, the hygienic animal then licked the soapy mix from her arm.

A bath before dinner: The hungry ape starts to lick the soap off her arm

Canadian snapper Kevin, who was travelling through Tajung Putting National Park in Borneo with his girlfriend, said the curious orangutan was mimicking human behaviour.

Bath time: An orangutan gives itself a clean with a stolen soap bar

He said: “When we were away on a trek, she must have taken it from the back of our boat.

Jungle fever: An adult and child orangutan having fun in Tajung Puting National Park

“Many of the orangutans have been treated at the rehabilitation camp in the area, so they are used to humans.

Kevin Su's boat during the trip and the scene of the organutan soap stealing scandal

“She had obviously watched us bathing and decided to copy us. Although we can't account for her deciding to eat the soap.”

Swingers club: A group of organutans hanging out

The orangutan population in Borneo has declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, due largely to deforestation.

The curious ape licks soap off its arm after stealing a bar from Kevin's boat

And Kevin says he felt privileged to witness such an intelligent ape relaxing in its natural habitat.

Canadian snapper Kevin Su smiles for the camera

He added: “I felt moved and connected to this beautiful creature who was imitating our behaviour, but also experimenting and enjoying herself.

The cheeky orangutan, along with its baby, poses for the camera with a mouth full of soap

“She didn’t mind us watching, it was if she wanted to let us know that she was no different then us.

Finger licking good: The female ape licks the soap off its fingers

“It was moments like these that inspire me to observe, respect and preserve wildlife.”