Happy World Orangutan Day! We wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit about this wonderful species.
Orangutans are red-haired apes that reside in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo in southeast Asia. The word orangutan comes from the Malay words “orang hutan “, meaning “human of the forest “, due to an interesting fact that nearly 97% of our DNA is the same as the Orangutans.
They enjoy spending a lot of their time on the tree canopy. To protect themselves from predators, Orangutans build their nests up in the tree. Life in the treetops is something Orangutans have adapted to; their incredibly long arms help them to effortlessly swing from branch to branch.
Female Orangutans give birth once in a period of 8 years, owing to the fact that the infants stay with their mother for a period of six to seven years until they learn the necessary survival skills, this is a very important period as it bonds mother and child together. This is the longest interval between births of any terrestrial mammal.
Far from other apes, these great apes don’t like to live in groups. A female will typically have a child or two with her but males like to hang out alone. Talk about introverts!
In addition, they are incredibly smart. They are known to imitate human behavior such as rowing a canoe to using hammers and saws.
These guys love eating! Fruits are their favorites and particularly the durian fruit. Nuts come in at a close second, they also chew on leaves and barks.
Wretchedly, all species of Orangutans have been declared Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The main threat facing them is the palm oil industry.
Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the fruit of the African oil palm tree, which originates in West Africa.
It is used in over 50% of all household and food products in the west. It is estimated that 1000-5000 Orangutans are killed annually when they chase them out of the forests that house palm trees, also, the displaced orangutans end up starving to death. These deaths are cruel and overwhelming.
As we mark World Orangutan Day, you can help the orangutans have a chance at survival!
We encourage you to share this message with friends and family, and be the ambassador the Orangutans need. You can also:
- Sign petitions online to help protect them
- Consider volunteering for organizations that are fighting tirelessly for the conservation of the Orangutans
Change is only possible if we want it badly enough. Be part of the change, the little you do can make a huge difference.
At Ocean Sole, we support conservation efforts of the Orangutans and we hope to have them around for thousands of years to come for the generation that will be!
Connect with us, we would love to hear back from you! Email us at Hello@oceansoleafrica.com
Written by: Maureen Simba