Orangutan with pensive eyes – could we only read it’s thoughts… Photographed in Apenheul zoo, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
“The orangutans are the two exclusively Asian species of extant great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.
The name “orangutan” (also written is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning “person” and hutan meaning “forest”, thus “person of the forest”.
Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of chimpanzees and gorillas. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Dominant adult males have distinctive cheek pads and produce long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals. Younger males do not have these characteristics and resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes, with social bonds occurring primarily between mothers and their dependent offspring, who stay together for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan’s diet; however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.
During the early 2000s, orangutan habitat has decreased rapidly due to logging and forest fires, as well as fragmentation by roads. A major factor in that period of time has been the conversion of vast areas of tropical forest to palm oil plantations in response to international demand. Palm oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, mechanics, and biodiesel. Hunting is also a major problem as is the illegal pet trade. Orangutans may be killed for the bushmeat trade, crop protection, or for use for traditional medicine. Mother orangutans are killed so their infants can be sold as pets, and many of these infants die without the help of their mother.
As a result of all this, both species are on the IUCN Red List of Mammals. The Sumatran species is critically endangered and the Bornean species is endangered.” Source: Wikipedia