Orangutans Conservation

Today, only about 50,000 Bornean and 7,000 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. Their numbers have been dwindling as a result of deforestation. Human activities and development such as logging, conversion of forest to palm oil plantations, illegal logging, timber estate, mining, and urban expansion, are the major contributors to the loss of orangutan habitat. Additionally the illegal animal trade has been a factor in decline of wild orangutan populations. Currently the IUNC has classified both the Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans as Critically Endangered, approximately 2000-3000 Bornean orangutans were killed every year in the past four decades alone, representing a loss of more than 50% of the original population in just 40 years, a rate of killing which could see the orangutan populations reduced to extinction in the next 50 years. Semboja Lestari, nyaru menteng and Mawas National Park TANJUNG PUTING NATIONAL PARK & CAMP LEAKEY, are two of the world’s natural wonders, which MofoMofa directly are supporting in their quest to save the native orangutans and their homes.

Who are the Orangutans?

First of all orang means “person or people” in Bahasa Indonesia and utan is from hutan, which means “forest”. Literally orangutan means “person/people of the forest”. DNA testing shows that the orangutan shares 97 per cent of our human DNA. Orangutans have opposable thumbs, their big toes are also opposable. Unlike humans approximately one third of all orangutans do not have nails on their big toes. A young orangutan for the first years of his/her life holds tight to his/her mother’s body as she moves through the forest canopy. Orangutan arms stretch out longer than their bodies up to 8ft from fingertip to fingertip. On the ground orangutans walk on all fours using their palms or fists. Orangutans have tremendous strength enabling them to hang upside-down from branches for long periods of time to retrieve and eat fruits and young leaves. In the wild, females usually give birth to their first offspring when they are 15-16years of age. From the age of thirteen years males may develop cheekpad “flanges” and large size too.

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