Only 100 years ago, an estimated 600,000 orangutans roamed the Borneo and Sumatran rainforests.
Now they’re one of the most endangered species in the world due to poaching, habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.
There is hope.
An extraordinary and dedicated team of international vets, scientists and volunteers have joined forces with locals to build and run the rehabilitation centre.
Their aim – to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned orangutans and release them back into the wild.
Orangutan Rescue: Back to the Wild, a one-off special gives you privileged access to International Animal Rescue’s orangutan rehab centre in West Kalimantan in Borneo, Indonesia.
Led by 36 year old Spanish vet Karmele Llano Sanchez, follow the work of the team and the progress of the orphaned orangutans, as they learn the skills necessary to survive in the wild.
Click on this link to see a tiny snippet about ‘orangutan kindy’.http://m.natgeotv.com/uk/orangutan-rescue-back-to-the-wild/videos/baby-school
DID YOU KNOW: ORANGUTANS SHARE NEARLY 97% OF OUR HUMAN DNA? LEARN MORE FASCINATING FACTS HERE
Orangutans are the only great apes of Asia. During the Miocene epoch, there were many ape species throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. Chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas survived in Africa, but only the orangutans survived in Asia.
Orangutans live in Indonesia and Malaysia on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
Orangutan means ‘person of the forest’. It comes from the Malay words ‘orange’ meaning people and ‘hutan’ meaning forest.
The average lifespan for a wild orangutan is 45 years.
Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling animals on Earth.
Male orangutans grow to up to 1.4m in height and weigh up to 120kg. Females are smaller: they grow to up to 1.2m in height and weigh between 30-50kg.
Females have their first baby at 14 or 15 years old.
Infants stay with their mothers until they are 7 or 8 years old – longer than any primate apart from humans.
The greatest threat to their survival is loss of their rainforest habitat.
When extended, orangutans’ arms are longer than their bodies – up to 2.4m from fingertip to fingertip.
According to a 2007 study at Agnes Scott College, out of 777 captive chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and bonobos, the only species with any “left-handed” animals were orangutan species.
Orangutans have been known to use large leaves as umbrellas to shelter themselves from the rain.
When annoyed orangutans smack their lips together, they are making a sound called a “kiss squeak.