Male Orangutan thinking in Borneo, Indonesia

Orangutans: All you wanted to know about them!

In the very heart of the magnificent Indonesian wild tropical forests, there is a special kingdom whose uniqueness is owed to the reign of the various animals. One of the species that enriches this kingdom and attracts lots of the travelers’ attention definitely is the Indonesian orangutan.

This is the reason why we have prepared a small guide which will help you learn more about the orangutan species that live in this country and inform you about the places where you can easily find them. Let’s start!

Orangutans from Sumatra

Sumatran orangutan, Indonesia

Infant orangutan in Sumatra, Indonesia

The orangutans living in the area of Sumatra belong to Pongo abelli and unfortunately, they are the critically endangered species that can only be seen on this island. The largest number of them is located in the northern areas of the island, mostly in the province of Aceh, but unfortunately, they are thought to be the first ones to be extinct if nothing changes in the future, since various modified conditions affect the climate of their homes as well as food availability.

Orangutans from Sumatra have the lighter reddish hairs. Faces and hairs of these orangutans are pretty longer than the faces and hairs of their cousins from Borneo. While female orangutans usually are not taller than one meter and they averagely weigh about 45 kg, male  can be up to 1.4 meters tall and can weigh up to 90 kg. Even though they are not really light-weighting animals, they spend a lot of time in the trees, in order to stay away from the nasty predators on the ground.

The Sumatran mostly eat fruits, insects, and birds’ eggs. Originally, they are not the meat-eaters, however, there was a couple of cases when they fed on slow loris, but it is thought that this happens just because of the shortage of the fruit during specific periods of the year, and not because they naturally consider the meat as an attractive meal.


Orangutans from Borneo

Male, Semonggoh Nature Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia

Male, Semonggoh Nature Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia

Besides the ones living in the area of Sumatran wild forests, the only species left that is considered as a native Asian orangutan species is the Bornean orangutan. As well as its Sumatran relatives, orangutans from Borneo represent the endangered species scientifically named Pongo Pygmaeus, however, they are in a bit better position, since they are more numerous.

When it comes to their looks, you will be able to recognize them because of their really long arms. Males weigh about 75 kg, and they can be up to 1.4 m tall, however, both weight and height are pretty variable when it comes to this species and they are on the very top of the list of the heaviest primates. In addition to this, they are also considered as the heaviest primate species that spend the largest part of their lives in the trees, sleeping included.

Bornean orangutans base their meals on plants, fruits, insects, and honey. They’ve been observed in their attempts to catch fish, but these were unsuccessful. On the other hand, rarely happens that they eat slow loris, like the Sumatran orangutans.