We are often asked questions about Orangutans here at The Great Projects, so we thought what better way to answer some of the most common ones than by a blog post?
Where are Orangutans found?
The Orangutan can only be found in two locations around the world. These Great Apes live in Indonesia and Malaysia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo and they are not found anywhere else in the wild!
What are the different species of Orangutan?
There are two different species of Orangutan, the Bornean which is found on the island of Borneo, and the Sumatran which is found on the island of Sumatra! The two species display slightly different physical characteristics, with the Sumatran Orangutans having a narrower face and longer ‘beard’, and the Bornean Orangutan being slightly darker in colour. There have also been some small behavioural differences noted between the two species as the Sumatran Orangutans are more frugivorous (fruit eating) and have even exhibited tool use!
How many Orangutans are left?
Orangutan numbers in the wild have reached a low of around 60,000, meaning that we all need to act now to help save these endangered animals! It is estimated that there are 54,000 Bornean Orangutans left and only 6,600 Sumatran individuals remaining.
Why are Orangutans endangered?
Orangutans are losing their natural rainforest habitat due to deforestation. Humans are cutting down the trees that the Orangutans once called home for wood to make paper and furniture. Once cleared, the land is then used to grow palm oil (a substance used in food and many other everyday products) which means that the forest never gets a chance to regrow. A third devastating issue facing the Orangutans is the pet trade. Young Orangutans are taken from their mothers and sold as family pets, which further devastate the Orangutan population.
How long do Orangutans live?
Orangutans have been known to live up to 45 years in the wild!
What do Orangutans eat?
The main element of an Orangutans diet consists of fruit. Their favourite is a fruit called Durian, and we can’t quite see why as it smells awful and tastes a bit like garlic and custard! Orangutans will also eat some flowers, honey, bark and even some insects so they do have quite a varied diet!
How big are Orangutans?
Orangutans can reach a height of up to 5 feet tall and a weight of 120kg. That is twice as much as the average human male so you wouldn’t want to get into an argument with a fully grown Orangutan!
What does Orangutan mean?
The word Orangutan comes from the Malay language and means ‘person of the forest’ which is of course a very apt name for these amazing apes.
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