10 facts about orangutans

10 facts about orangutans – Foundation for Animal Welfare in Germany

  • «Orangutan» means «person of the forest» in Malay and Bahasa Indonesian.
  • There are three species of orangutan: Bornean orangutan, Sumatran orangutan and the Tapanuli orangutan. All are at high risk.
  • The most endangered orangutan species, the Tapanuli, was only recognized in 2017. There are fewer than 800 animals of this species left.
  • Orangutans are not apes, they belong to the great ape family of primates, which also includes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and us humans.
  • Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling animals in the world.
  • The bond between a mother orangutan and her baby is very strong and they are inseparable during the child’s first 5-7 years of life. Then the mother shows the boy everything he needs to survive in the jungle; of where and when they find food, how to avoid predators and how to build sleeping nests in the treetops.
  • There are over 4000 foods that orangutans love to eat. Their diet includes bark, leaves, flowers, vines, some insects for protein, and over 300 types of fruit!
  • They are the loneliest primates. Adult male and female orangutans usually only get together to roam together and mate while the female is in heat.
  • Adult males are distinguished from females by their impressive «cheek pads,» although some males develop them later in life. Females tend to prefer males with cheek pads, but sooner or later those without will also find a female.
  • As the forests are cleared for palm oil plantations, mining and logging, the orangutans are losing their habitat. This deforestation is compounding the climate crisis that is making the world less livable for all species, including humans. With a population decline of around 100,000 animals between 1999 and 2015, orangutans are gradually losing the fight for survival. Your time is running out, which is why we must act now.