The Gardeners of the Forest
Meet the great apes that are native to Indonesia and Malaysia!
Playing a vital role
The existence of orangutans in the forest plays a crucial role in seed dispersal and in maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem. That is why these furry reddish primates are known as ‘the gardeners of the forest’.
Living in trees
Orangutans live in rainforests on the islands of Sumatra (Indonesia) and Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia).These fruit, leaf and insect eaters travel by swinging from one tree to another.
Since the 1990s, orangutans have been divided into two species: the Bornean and the Sumatran. The Borneans have narrower cheek pads and are more likely to descend to the ground, especially the adult males. Last year, a third species was reported, Tapanuli orangutans, which live in South Tapanuli on Sumatra.
Having 97 per cent of their DNA in common with humans, orangutans are highly intelligent mammals. They can live for up to 50 years and weigh up to 90kg (males) and 50kg (females).