Indigenous peoples of Indonesia and Malaysia call this ape “Orang Hutan” literally translating into English as “People of the Forest”. In times past they would not kill them because they felt the orangutan was simply a person hiding in the trees, trying to avoid having to go to work or become a slave.
Never before has its very existence been threatened so severely. Economic crisis combined with natural disasters and human abuse of the forest are pushing our closest cousins to extinction. They have lost approximately 80% of their habitat in the last 20 years. Anywhere from 1,000-2,000 orangutans are lost each year.
Of the nearly 250,000 flowering plants known, 170,000 or 68 percent occur in the tropics and subtropics, making tropical rainforests among the most diverse and complex living environments on Earth. Those of the Far East, including Borneo and Sumatra, may be some of the most complex of all. Borneo and Sumatra support 10% of Indonesia’s known plant species, 12.5% of its mammals, and 17% of its other vertebrates. Borneo alone has 10,000-15,000 species of flowering plants.
Many items sold today originating from Indonesia are made from materials that come from these vanishing rainforests or are related to the endangered species that are fast disappearing from these forests. Learn more about how you can help stop these big, brute industries from tearing apart the last remaining forested regions of orangutan habitat.