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Published on Feb 5, 2012

THANKS FOR SUBSCRIBING - Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have proportionally longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes.

The Orangutan here was taped at an afternoon feeding at Tanjun Harapan inside Tanjung Puting National Park. It is a rain forest preserve and conservancy for Orangutans. The rangers there put out bananas a few times a day so the wild Orangutans can get the extra calories they need to stay healthy. Tourists comes to watch the feedings so some of the Orangutans who are nervous around the humans grab as many bananas as they can and head back to the trees to eat them. Because they need both arms and legs for climbing, they use their mouths as a carrier.

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vietnam and Mainland China. There are only two surviving species, both of which are endangered: the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii). The subfamily Ponginae also includes the extinct genera Gigantopithecus and Sivapithecus. The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay words "orang" (man) and "(h)utan" (forest); hence, "man of the forest".

Sexual interest in humans

Male orangutans have been known to display sexual attraction to human women to the point of rape. The cook of noted primatologist Birutė Galdikas was raped by an orangutan. An orangutan tried to have sex with actress Julia Roberts but was prevented by a film crew.


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