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Sumatran Orangutan

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

The Sumatran Orangutan is one of two critically endangered species that can only be found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Due to extensive deforestation and illegal animal trading, there are just over 13,000 Sumatran Orangutans left.


The large size and striking red hair of a Sumatran Orangutan would surely capture the attention of anyone lucky enough to see it in the wild. There are noticeable variations between adult males and females. Females are nearly half the size of their male counterparts and lack the distinctive cheek pads. Adult males can weigh up to 200lbs and be as tall as 5 ft.


Sumatran Orangutans are arboreal and spend their entire lifespans in the treetops of rainforests and swamps. While they prefer the lowland rainforests where food is the most plentiful, the destruction of their habitat has led to seeking higher ground in some mountainous areas.


As mostly herbivores, fruit and other plants make up the largest part of a Sumatran Orangutan’s diet. They prefer the hydrating effects of fruit but will sometimes supplement their diet with small animals, insects, and eggs. Figs are so abundant in the habitat that these otherwise solitary primates will often gather to share a meal.


Sumatran Orangutans spend over half of their days swinging through the trees in search of a meal. Sometimes they will even craft tools to help them forage or accomplish other tasks.

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