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Orangutans are lazy. They seem to have a more internal approach to everything. While other apes might go from tree to tree searching for fruit, an orangutan will just sit in the forest canopy for hours until the location of the hidden fruit reveals itself mysteriously. Then it will swing over for its meal.

Smart Solver

Scientists like to explain the orangutan’s unique approach to problem solving with this example:

If a chimp is given an oddly shaped peg and several different holes to try to put it in, the chimp will immediately try shoving the peg in various holes until it finds the hole that the peg fits in. But an orangutan will approach the challenge quite differently. It will stare off into space, or even scratch itself with the peg. Then, after a while, it will offhandedly stick the peg into the correct hole while looking at something else!

"I Love You, Mum!"

In the wild, young orangutans usually stay with their mothers until they’re about eight years old or older. Orangutans have the longest childhood of the great apes because, when they grow up, they don’t have a troop around to give them more lessons. The mothers must teach the babies what food to eat, where to find that food, in which trees and during which seasons before they set off on their own. It is thought that the orangutan must have a very detailed map of the forest in her mind, and detailed knowledge of the fruiting cycles of many species of trees. (This prevents wasting valuable energy searching for fruit trees randomly, and traveling to a certain fruiting tree whose fruits will not ripen for some time).

     It has been illegal to own orangutans as pets in both Malaysia and Indonesia for many decades. Nevertheless, orangutan infants are surreptitiously ushered into the illicit wildlife trade as a consequence of the above mentioned activities. In the course of removing trees, orangutans are occasionally located by field workers. These are frequently adult females with dependent young. Isolated by habitat fragmentation, terrified animals have no place to go except to the ground. Inevitably, the adult female orangutan is brutally killed by ignorant, desperate, or greedy field personnel to obtain her infant for sale to a wildlife trafficker.

     Most infants do not survive the harsh journey to market in Jakarta, Bali or other international locations due to poor care, disease, injury, and psychological trauma. For every orphan that reaches market, it is estimated some 6-8 orangutans died as a consequence of the inhumane means of capture, transport, and care.

Orangutans spend most of their lives in trees and travel by swinging from branch to branch with their long arms. They usually build a new nest every night, but occasionally reuse one. The apes also use leafy branches to shelter themselves from rain and sun, and sometimes they even drape large leaves over themselves like a poncho. Sometimes several mothers and their young encounter each other by a fruit tree within their overlapping ranges. They peacefully feed together and watch their youngsters play. Males, however, generally don’t care for company—especially from other males. If a male accidentally swings into a more dominant male’s territory, the dominant male gives a booming roar to scare him off. During mating season, the male orangutans’ calls also serve as an invitation to any females within hearing distance.

Orangutan's Specialty

Their eyes hold a story that is indecipherable and yet intuitively we relate to them. Just one look into those eyes and you are hooked.Orangutans has the ability to reason and think. This large, gentle red ape is one of four closest relatives, sharing 97% of the same DNA as humans. In times past they would not kill them because they felt that the orangutan was simply a person hiding in the trees, trying to avoid having to go to work or become a slave.

     Orangutans are the only apes in the world that are from Asia. Orangutans are diurnal which means they are active during the day like humans do. Orangutans have opposable thumbs which mean they can touch each of their fingers with their thumb like us. A male orangutan’s cheek pads keep growing for most of their life. Orangutans have 32 permanent teeth (the same amount as humans). They have sharp canine teeth with the male orangutan having longer canine teeth that they use for threat displays and fighting.

  Orangutans branchiate (swing arm-over-arm through the forest) better than any other apes.Orangutans are the only ape that is strictly arboreal, meaning that they spend their lives in the forest canopy. They breed slower than any other primate and have approximately 3 offspring in their lifetime. Sumatran orangutans have lighter hair, longer beards and narrower cheek pads than Borean orangutans. Orangutans are highly intelligent. They will poke twigs into holes to catch insects, chew up leaves and use them as sponges and use branches and sticks to test the depth of water before entering it.

  Mosquitoes bother orangutans just like they do humans and they will use branches like fly swatters to swish them away. When it rains or the sun is hot, an orangutanwill hold a leafy branch or two over its head to protect itself from getting wet or overheated.Most orangutans build a nest every night high up in a tree and sometimes even add a roof of leaves. Orangutans can make approximately 13 to 15 different vocalizations. The name “orangutan” translates into English as “man of the forest”. It comes from Malay and Indonesian language, orang (man) and hutan (forest).

  Orangutan females give birth only about once every 8 years, the longest time between births of any mammals on earth. The hands of an orangutan are very much like that of humans. They have four long fingers and an opposable thumb. Orangutans are very intelligent.They have been known to use leaves as umbrellas, in rainy season, as well as cups, to help them drink water. Every evening, orangutans construct a ‘nest’, of leaves and branches, on trees, in which they will curl up and sleep at night.

     Orangutans do not swim. They have an enormous arm span. A male orangutan can stretch his arms as much as 7 ft (2.1 m) wide, from fingertip to fingertip. Orangutans spend lot of their time looking for food. The arms of an orangutan are incredibly long and almost reach down to their ankles. Orangutans have even been known to watch villagers use boats to cross the local waterways, and then untie a boat and ride it across the river on their own.

What Do Orangutans Eat?

Their diet is made up of bark, leaves, flowers, a variety of insects, and most importantly, over300 kinds of fruit. The babies must eventually know hundreds of species of plants and trees, which ones are edible, and how to process them; some are very difficult to eat because they are protected by sharp spines and shells. Fruit trees are spread out over the rain forests where orangutans live, and they all flower and fruit at different times. So the youngsters learn a mental map of the forest layout and where ripe fruit is likely to be at any given time. They also learn to eat insects and birds’ eggs. Almost all of the food they eat grows in the treetops and the frequent rains fill the leaves, supplying them with drinking water. When water is difficult to find, they chew leaves to make a sponge to soak up the droplets in tree cavities.

Help Them Live...

Unfortunately, these highly intelligent red apes are now extinct in much of Asia. Farming, logging, and the burning of the forest have destroyed 80 percent of the rain forests where orangutans used to make their homes. On top of that, poachers often kill orangutan mothers and sell their young in the illegal pet trade. In those cases, the orangutan orphan is usually doomed to a short and depressing life, unless it is rescued by an orangutan organization that takes care of orphans in special reserves. Many of these organizations have programs to educate loggers and local people about the need to protect their rare red neighbors and to help enforce the laws against poaching.

Help Us Save Them...

We are aware of the extinction of orangutans. We are working to raise awareness about the dangers all great apes face. In addition, we are going to organize a charity fund in our school. The donations will be donated to the organizer. Come and support the apes. Come to our school and donate =)


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