Hilly and lowland tropical rainforests.
Mainly fruit but also leaves, bark, buds, flowers, seeds, insects, young birds and eggs.
This is the second largest of the apes. It has a shaggy coat, which is a reddish brown colour. They are heavily built and the arms reach to their ankles. Adults usually live alone but infants remain with their mother and become completely independent by 6 - 9 years of age.
A single youngster is born after a gestation of 260 - 270 days (8.5 - 9 months). Young orang utans have white speckles of skin around the eyes, which darken as they get older.
The main threat today is the loss of habitat due to illegal logging, gold mining and agriculture. Hunting and capture for the pet trade are also threats.
Wild orang utans have global legal protection. Some orangs live within protected forests and there are successful rehabilitation programmes for rescued pets and orphans. There are also conservation breeding programmes in zoos world-wide including a European Endangered species Programme (EEP).
- Latin Name: Pongo pygmaeus
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Primates
- Family: Pongidae
- Conservation status: Critically Endangered
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