Currently in the research phase
We aim to develop a program that brings attention to issues threatening the survival of this incredible species and creates impact driven solutions to help preserve the local environment and the communities working to protect it.
- 1. In Malay orang means “person” and utan is derived from hutan, which means “forest.” Thus, orangutan literally means “person of the forest.”
- 2. Much of their habitat is being destroyed to produce palm oil for export, which is found in everything from shampoo to candy bars in stores around the World.
- 3. Orangutans possess 32 teeth, the same number present in Humans.
- 4. They share 97 per cent of their DNA with people. Although that makes the red-haired apes less closely related to us than chimps – who have 99 per cent of DNA in common – a small portion of orangutan DNA is a closer match to human DNA, the international team of researchers found.
- 5. Orangutans live on only two islands, Borneo and northern Sumatra. They are a relic species. At the end of the Pleistocene period some 12,000 years ago, their range was much wider, encompassing southern China, Indochina, Java and southern Sumatra. The species is now extinct in all these regions.
- 6. Orangutans have the most intense relationship between mother and young of any non-human mammal. Mothers carry their offspring for the first five years, and may suckle them for six or seven years. For the first eight years of a young orangutans life, its mother is its constant companion. Until another infant is born, mothers sleep in a nest with their offspring every night.
- 7. Like humans, orangutans have opposable thumbs. Their big toes are also opposable.
- 8. Orangutan are thought to be the first great apes that will become extinct unless people help to protect them. Their numbers have fallen from over 300,000 in just under 100 years to less than 6600 in Sumatra and less than 54,000 in Borneo.