World Orangutan Day: 10 Facts You Might Not Know

Hannah Champion

19 Aug 2015

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Commemorating World Orangutan Day

Orangutans, the “humans of the forest”, are greatly endangered due to rapid deforestation and human conflict. These creatures are perhaps the most critically affected victims of the palm oil industry and it is important that we understand their plight and do what we can in terms of conservation and sustainable tourism to recover their habitats with the hope of increasing population figures before it is too late.  

To commemorate World Orangutan Day NWS gives you ten facts you might not know about our orange-furred friends.

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10 Facts

1. Orangutans only live in the wild on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
2. Humans share 96.4% of their genetic make-up with orangutans and they have been named the world’s most intelligent animal!
3. Despite our similar genetic make-up, orang-utans are believed to be 7 times stronger than humans!
4. Orangutans are part of the Great Ape family - the way to tell the difference between an ape and a monkey is the tail - apes don't have one.
5. Orangutans are the only great ape to originate in Asia (all others come from Africa).
6. Orangutans are arboreal - they spend most of their time in the trees (they are the largest tree living mammal in the world).
7. Orangutan babies live with their mothers until they are 7 or 8 years old - the longest time of any mammals except humans
8. There are thought to be less than 6,600 Sumatran orangutans left and 54,000 Bornean orangutans
9. Orangutans make umbrellas for themselves out of large leaves when rainfall is particularly heavy

10. The "long call" of orangutans can be heard from 2km away

For more information about orangutans download our free Orangutan Guide

Want to see orangutans in Borneo? Check out our extraordinary journeys here!

Read Natural World Safaris client Alan Key's blog

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