Slang Orangutan

According to, the orangutan is a very special monkey that can only be experienced on a trip to Borneo and Sumatra. It has therefore become a must to see this amazing creature on its journey to Borneo and Malaysia. The name Orangutang itself means in Malaysian “forest man”, and more translated means orang – human and without – forest.

Facts about the orangutan

Location: Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia)
Life expectancy: 35 years
Weight: 30 to 90 kilos
Size: 125 to 150 centimeters high
Food: Plant and tropical fruits
Quantity: 45,000 left
Funfact: It was once thought that the orangutan was a kind of human who did not talk to avoid being put to work.


The orangutan is a large, long-haired great ape. The monkey is about 125 to 150 centimeters tall and weighs 30 to 90 kilograms. The orangutan generally has very short legs compared to its otherwise long arms, which when hanging reach the ankles. The arms can become over 225 inches long when they extend their arms out to each side. Its jaw itself is very prominent on its very naked face. As an adult, the orangutan also has a drooping larynx, which becomes very prominent, especially in males. The larynx consists of subcutaneous fat and connective tissue and holds some large air sacs.


The orangutan’s food consists of a little of everything, namely tropical fruits, leaves, shoots, bark, insects and eggs. They are unlike other animals, able to eat unripe fruits, which gives them an advantage over other fruit eaters, so they have them for themselves and before everyone else. The orangutan spends most of its day looking for food. Every day they consume about 400 different kinds of plants, and here their long arms are a great advantage to them. They help to grab fruits that are far away.

Furthermore, as humans, they use tools to help themselves get food. Among other things, they use branches to catch ants and termites. Orangutans cannot swim, which is why its long arms help it grab water all the while hanging in a vine over a river or similar. Orangutans love the fruit durian, which for us humans smells awful.


Like humans, the orangutan can mate all year round. Mating takes place high up in the air, and both the male and female can hang and dangle in their arms under a branch while mating. The female is pregnant for about 260 to 270 days, corresponding to 8.5 to 9 months. The orangutan almost always has only one young, however, it may happen that it has two young, but this is a rarity. The baby weighs about 1.5 kilos when it is born. The baby’s eyes are already open when it is born, and it quickly learns to use its long arms and fingers to grasp.

A small newborn orangutan cub is deeply dependent on the mother, and only when the baby is about three to four years old does it get used to getting breast milk. Here the baby becomes very angry and angry, all the while the mother tries to teach the baby what kind of food is in the area and what seasons it finds what. This is called the weaning period, when the mother basically teaches the baby everything it needs to know about its food and how to climb and swing in the trees. The baby stays with the mother until it is 6 to 7 years old, where it is usually time for the orangutan mother to have a new baby.


Orangutans are unlike other apes, not a herd animal. Adult males usually live alone, with females living with their young. After the pups are 6 to 7 years old, both sexes leave the mother. Of these, the honey takes the relative distance away from its mother, whereas the honey settles close to the mother’s core area. Therefore, orangutans are usually closely related if they live close to each other.

The male goes far away to try on as many females as possible, thus avoiding inbreeding. The female prefers to find herself a dominant male. The male can be over twice as big as the females, with over 100 kilos. Here, the large males roar with their large larynx, simply to keep competing males at bay.


The orangutan is closely related to humans, it appears from genetic engineering. The genome (genome) of man and apes itself is about 20,000 genes, and the difference between the genes of man and apes is very small. Research shows that 97% of the orangutan’s genes are the same as humans. In addition, the gorilla’s genes are 98% and the chimpanzee’s 99% match the human genes. The orangutan is found almost all its life up in a tree, and is in fact the only tree-living apes.

Travelers’ questions about the orangutan

Is the orangutan a great ape?

Yes, the orangutan is what is called a great ape.

The orangutan is one of the four great apes in the world and shares 97% of the same genes with humans. In addition, the orangutan is the only human monkey that does not live in Africa. The three other great apes, such as the gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo monkey, all live in Africa. The meaning “apes” does not mean that humans are descended from apes. It simply means that the living monkey species and man once had a common ancestor several million years ago. It is still unknown why three of the great apes reside in Africa, and the orangutan, as the only one, resides in Asia. In addition, African great apes also live in flocks, whereas the orangutan lives its life alone.

Is the orangutan an endangered animal?

Yes, the orangutan is a very endangered animal.

The orangutan lives in tropical forests, which are being felled illegally more and more frequently. In fact, the tropical forests in which orangutans live in the last 10 years alone have been reduced by 25 to 35%. This means that there are more forests that have been destroyed and rendered unusable for orangutans to live in. It is especially on Borneo where this is a major problem. It is not just illegal felling that is helping to eradicate parts of the giant rainforest, it is also the incredible number of forest fires that occur every year. It is said that if it continues at this pace, the rainforest of Borneo will be gone within 10 years.

Is it called orangutan because it is orange?

No, it does not.

The orangutan has been given this name, for a completely different reason. Orangutan can be translated directly to “forest man” in Malaysian. “Orang” means human and “utang” means forest in Malaysian. However, this does not mean that the orangutan is not orange. The one that lives on Sumatra is more orange in the fur, whereas the orangutan from Borneo is more red in the fur, and is therefore called the red monkey. However, the color of the coat may vary. There are in fact three different subspecies of the orangutan on Borneo, and here the color of the coat can vary between the orange and reddish tones.

Facts about the orangutan