Working With Orangutans

Have you ever wanted the experience of working with orangutans? Play your part in wildlife conservation and join us at The Great Projects on one of the many orangutan volunteering projects we have to offer! Borneo and Sumatra are the only places on earth that this beautiful Great Ape can be found in the wild, and they are classified as a critically endangered species. Unfortunately, the entire orangutan population now stands at less than 100,000 so they are in dire need of some positive human intervention!

Working with orangutans in Borneo gives you the chance to assist with orangutan rehabilitation so they can be released back into the wild wherever possible. You will be helping to provide them with enrichment activities, such as collecting leaves to encourage natural behaviours like nest building in the stunning creatures. As many orangutans become orphans due to the pet trade and poaching, they do not have mothers to teach them these natural behaviours and without learning them, they are unable to survive independently, but teaching the young orangutans these behaviours will increase their chances of having a life in the wild.

We do not promote human contact with the apes as this can cause them to become too domesticated and prevent rehabilitation, however, you will certainly play a huge role at any orangutan project we have, and your efforts will make the world of difference to these innocent animals.

What are you waiting for? Secure your place to work with orangutans today!

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Orangutans At A Glance

Critically Endangered
Less than 100,000
Borneo and Sumatra

How Endangered Are Orangutans?

The Bornean and Sumatran Orangutan are both considered critically endangered by the IUCN. They were once free to roam across South East Asia, even reaching northern China. However, as population numbers have declined they are endemic to only the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

Around a century ago, the orangutan population was 230,000, however now, it is less than half of that. It is said there are just over 54,000 Bornean orangutans remaining, and 6,000 Sumatran. It is known that few other species have suffered a drop in numbers as drastic as this.

By working with orangutans in Borneo, you will aid their conservation and thus contribute an invaluable effort to providing them with a sustainable future for generations to come. 

The orangutans need protecting urgently, and it is up to us humans to help them.

Threats The Orangutans Are Facing

Orangutans face several threats, some natural, but many are caused by human activity. These include:

  • Forest Fires - some of these can be inflicted by humans, but they are also a natural occurrence due to the dry conditions of the islands. In 2015, a colossal fire decimated the forest, and 200 hectares were lost from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project site alone. This emphasises how detrimental these fires can be to the apes.
  • The Pet Trade - this illegal trade forces young babies to be taken from their mothers at a very young age. It is estimated that a shocking 1,000 orangutan babies are smuggled from their natural habitat every year.
  • Habitat loss - farmers are converting tropical lands to produce palm oil plantations. Since 1973, 30% of the Bornean rainforest has been lost. Orangutan conservation is so important to the species, or it will cease to exist.
Fast Facts!
  • In the largest males of the species, it is said that an orangutan's reach can spread as far as 8 feet from fingertip to fingertip!
  • The orangutan possesses 32 teeth, the exact same amount as humans!
  • Humans share a common ancestor with these dangling primates, that supposedly lived around 12 million years ago.
  • Orangutans are actually 7 times stronger than a human!
  • Scientists suggest that orangutans live alone because they have a huge caloric intake. Therefore, although it is common for primates to live in social groups, there just simply would not be enough food to share.
  • Their favourite food is fruit. Orangutans know where certain fruit trees are situated in the forest, even the ones that only produce certain types of fruit once every few years!


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987