IUCN Red List status:
For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org
Orangutans eat mainly fruit, as well as other vegetation such as leaves. They will also eat flowers and insects.
They live in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the lowlands as well as mountainous areas up to an elevation of 1500m on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia
These amazing animals live long lives - up to 40 years in the wild
Orangutans are amongst the most intelligent animals on the planet.
At Chester Zoo we have both Bornean and Sumatran orangutans.Originally the islands were connected to each other until around 40,000 years ago, allowing each species to evolve independently. Orangutans are our closest living relatives on the planet, sharing 97% of our DNA.
There isn’t a huge amount of differences, but Bornean orangutans spend more time on the ground than their Sumatran relatives. It’s thought that this is due to the threat of tigers in Sumatra which keeps the apes up in the safety of the trees.
The Bornean orangutan is among the many species being pushed to the brink of extinction in South East Asia by hunting, forest clearance and the planting of oil palm plantations, which are destroying vast areas of rainforest. There is intense demand for the oil, which features in all sorts of every day products in the UK from food to cleaning materials and cosmetics.
In 2019, we succeeded in making Chester the WORLD’S FIRST ‘Sustainable Palm Oil City.’ Our experts worked with restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast food outlets, schools and workplaces in the city to introduce sustainable palm oil policies into their supply chain.
Threat of hunting and habitat loss due to palm oil plantations is pushing these magnificent animals to the BRINK of EXTINCTION.
We’re working RIGHT NOW with our partners in the field to ensure the survival of this species. Our experts are carrying out important research and providing education to local communities in order to save orangutans in Southeast Asia.