Sumatran Orangutan

Pongo pygmaeus abelii

Orangutan means “person of the forest” and is a fitting name for a primate that is happy to spend its day hanging out in the treetops. The only truly arboreal ape, the orangutan is also the largest tree-dwelling animal.

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The big ape is too heavy to jump from tree to tree so when it needs to cross a gap in the canopy, it will sway the tree back and forth until it can reach out with its long arms and grab a neighboring tree with its hook-like hands. As a large animal with a hefty appetite for fruit, the red ape’s survival requires the protection of large areas of forested habitat.

  • High up in the trees, the orangutan is safe from its main natural predator, the tiger.
  • An orangutan can spend an entire day gorging on fruit in a single tree.


Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
Species Survival Plan Image
pronunciationPronunciation: oh-RANG-oo-tan
where to see themWhere to see them: Jungle Trails
heightHeight: 3.8 to 4.5 ft
weightWeight: Male - 130 to 200 lbs; Female - 88 to 110 lbs
life expectancyLife Expectancy: 28 yrs
habitatHabitat: Tropical rainforest
dietDiet: Fruit, shoots, bark, insects, vines, bird eggs, and small vertebrates
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Critically endangered)