Sumatran Orangutan

A sumatran orangutan sits next to a tree at the Audubon Zoo.

Animal's Behavior
Orangutan means “person of the forest” in Malayan. Known in zoos and in the wild as intelligent tool users, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of two species of orangutan. With short legs and long arms, they are well adapted to life high up in the trees. They are the world’s largest arboreal mammal and the only red-colored great ape.

Eating Habits
Fruit, berries, leaves/bark from trees, bird eggs, insects

Habitat/Range
The northern provinces of Sumatra

Conservation Efforts
Protected in most areas and carefully bred in zoos to maintain genetics. There are thought to be about 7,000 Sumatran orangutans in the wild. All species of orangutans are critically endangered due to habitat loss. The Palm Oil industry’s unsustainable practices are largely contributing to forests being lost. Supporting deforestation-free palm oil practices and supporting sustainable and local companies can help protect orangutans for the future.

Animal Facts
They share more than 97% of our own human DNA. Orangutans are mostly solitary in the wild and due to habitat loss, researchers are seeing them congregating in closer proximity due to fragmentation of forests. There are now three species of orangutan, including the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).