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Sumatran Orangutans – Losing Their Forest Home

August 19, 2014

Sumatran Orangutans – Losing Their Forest Home

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Rhett Butler Rhett Butler

Of the world’s two orangutan species, the Sumatran orangutan faces a particularly daunting challenge: the large-scale destruction of its forest home on Sumatra. The Indonesian island has lost more than 40 percent of its old-growth forest cover in just 20 years, mostly as the results of agricultural expansion, industrial logging, and the production of palm oil and wood pulp. Today, there are thought to be less than 8,000 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild.

The two orangutans pictured above are lucky. They’re part of a reintroduction program in North Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park. This mother and infant are free to live in the forest, but rangers offer a daily feeding to ease their transition back into the wild. When fruit is aplenty in the forest, it may be days between appearances at the feeding platform. But when food is scarce, the orangutans stay close to the park’s entrance.

Canon 5D Mark II

Gunung Leuser National Park, North Sumatra Map It


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Sharon Baron
August 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I am ever so trying to educate people not to buy products with palm oil. God Bless those red fury creatures whos homes are being stolen from their species.

susan broder
January 11, 2015 at 4:03 am

I. Love orangutans with by hole heart. Would like to see one up close before I pass away when ever that might be

October 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Smart thninikg – a clever way of looking at it.