Red Men of the Forest

No, we are talking about those shows about people who live in the wilderness, or call of the wild man. Today, we are talking Orangutans! (Notice the lack of “g” on the end of that, personal pet peeve of mine). I developed a love for these animals when I was 17 and I was able to work with them at a zoo. Their intelligence is truly breathtaking, and when they look into your eyes you feel like they just understand. Orangs are mostly arboreal (arbor day –> tree’s –> they mostly live in tree’s). They are the only great ape that comes from Asia; gorillas, chimanzees, and bonobos all originate in Africa. Orangutans can be further divided into two sub-species: Sumatran orangutans and Bornean orangutans. There is a noticeable difference is facial features between the Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, mostly in the cheek pads of males.

Baby orangutans typically have a long dependence on the mother because of everything that they have to learn. Because of the large amounts and varieties of fruit they consume. Orangs have learn which fruits to eat, when they can eat them, and how to eat them. While Orangutans are largely solitary animals, after mating the male will stick around for a few days to make sure the job got done. Orangutans greatest threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation for palm oil plantations. What the heck is palm oil? Keep reading!

Palm oil is the most commonly used oil in the world, and its practically in everything. Makes you feel bad as a consumer, but never fear! There is sustainable palm oil and non-sustainable palm oil. What do you know about sustainable palm oil? Tomorrow, we will dive deeper into palm oil, I will be sharing information about how you can help reduce the amount of deforestation, and aid the ailing populations of orangutans.



Leave a Reply