Our ginger haired cousins

One of the main reasons for visiting Borneo was to see the amazing orangutans which are only found in Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia.

We weren’t disappointed. As soon as we arrived we heard the rustle of leaves above us, signalling the arrival of these amazing apes. We watched in awe as the huge red haired apes swung from tree to tree doing their trademark acrobatic moves. They move slowly but steadily, lending their weight to bend the pole-like tree, connecting it to the next tree, crossing the treetop highway with ease.

Tree swinging
Banana time (although they actually prefer sweet potato) for mother and baby

They were incredible to watch and so human like in their actions. I suppose it’s not that surprising when you consider that orangutans are one of our closest relatives, sharing 97% of our DNA.

Almost as hairy as Jack

Some facts you may not know:

  • The Malay word orangutan means ‘man of the forest’
  • They spend 90% of their time in the trees and are the largest tree-living mammal in the world
  • Their arms are twice the length of their bodies
  • They weigh from 60-180kg and an orangutan’s standing height averages from 120-150cm
  • The “long call” can be heard 2km away
  • Adult males have large cheek flaps (which get larger as the ape ages) that show their dominance to other males and their readiness to mate
  • Orangutans have even shown laughter-like vocalisations in response to physical contact, such as wrestling, play chasing or tickling

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