How much do we know about orangutans?

Recently I visited orangutans at Camp Leakey run by Orangutan Foundation International (OFI). The long history and inspirational work of OFI touched all of us. I’ll tell you the story in another post. First, I wanted to share the photos of amazing orangutans. It’s hard not to appreciate them while watching how they move and react. We even saw a couple of wild orangutans on the boat which was an extremely rare experience as I’ve heard. However, the main event was at the two camps at Camp Leakey. Visitors can join the rangers during feeding time to watch orangutans. As Dr. Briute said, Camp Leakey, is ‘NYC for the country folks’. Meaning, you wouldn’t want to live there but would want to visit once in a while.

Here I’m sharing interesting facts that I learned during the visit, and part of the photos. Believe it or not, I took 900 photos of orangutans. It was quite a hard journey to pick out the good photos.

Doyok was watching us for a long time
Doyok was watching us for a long time

Facts about orangutans you didn’t know

  • Orangutan means ‘the person of the forest’ in the Malay language. Oran means person, utan means forest. Technically, orang utan (a space in the middle) would be the right way to say it.
  • They like durians the best, better than bananas (surprise!).
  • Orangutans and human genomes are 97% identical.
  • For the first few years of his/her life, a young orangutan holds tight to his/her mother’s body as she moves through the forest canopy. The moms keep their babies for 7-8 years.
  • The chick pad is a sign of the dominant male but not all males have it. They go deep in the jungle for 3-6 months and come out all grown up. People still don’t know exactly about the process.
  • Orangutans have eight times stronger strength than humans.
  • They have an attention span of a four-year-old kid. So they respond better to a dominant tone.
  • Orangutans usually eat fruits and young leaves from trees.
  • Orangutans are in danger because of illegal logging and palm oil plantation. Also, people kill their mothers to capture baby orangutans.
That’s one way to relax 
Amazing color of her hair
A man of forest
Orangutan babies stay with their mom for 7-9 years
Orangutan babies learn their life skills from their mom
Orangutans eating bananas
Their hair shines golden through the sunlight
That color
I love watching the hands of orangutans. It looks so similar to ours.
Orangutans in Kalimantan

Mother’s love
Doyok is a dominant male

29 thoughts on “Facts about Orangutans You Didn’t Know”

  1. These are absolutely amazing, girl. Just incredible!! I fell in love with orangutans when I spent a month in Borneo. Sadly, my laptop and hard drive were stolen soon after, so all of my photos are gone. But they couldn’t hold a candle to yours anyway!!

  2. Lovely orangutan photos! Thanks for the visual nature treat… It’s stories like this that help spead awareness about orangutans’ precarious existence – and hopefully help lead to their protection.

  3. These are just lovely, and the beauty of these animals, especially the ones with babies/young orangutans, brought tears to my eyes. We have talked about taking my kids there at some point, but your post really inspired me to go.

  4. The fact about them loving durian instead of banana is quite surprising. It’s really fascinating to watch orangutans move around and sometimes act like humans.

    1. I know, right? They feed bananas during the feeding time but they like the wild durians the best, according to OFI people. I guess they like the smell too. Not me! 🙂

  5. You took some fantastic photos. It must have been difficult to pick out only a few to use in the blog.
    Seeing Orangutans in Borneo is definitely on my traveling to do list. This post just made me want o go even more.

  6. I just hope that humans take more precautions and responsibility so that our development doesn’t necessarily have to harm the natural ecosystem. Such lovely mammals, can’t believe they love durian that much!

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